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By W. C. Morrow 


Ornamentally Bound, Deckle Edges, $i.2S 
A romance of most absorbing interest 


Ornamentally Bound, Deckle Edges, $i.2S 

" The touch throughout is unmistakably that of a writer of 
superior gifts and superior art." — Chicago Journal 

" That he has a vivid imagination is proved by the variety and 
extravagant character of the plots which give more or less sub- 
stance to the dozen odd fictions in this volume. All of them are 
entertaining, and they may be heartily recommended to readers 
who, seeking diversion out of the common, relish it when highly 
spiced." — Philadelphia Evening Bulletin 

" We can confidently commend this as one of the books that 
ought to be read by those who are looking out for ' something 
new' that is worth finding." — Buffalo Commercial 





From Notes by Edouard Cucuel 






Copyright, 1899, 


J. B. LippiNcoTT Company. 




Introduction u 

Our Studio .• • • ^5 

The £;cole des Beaux-Arts 37 

Taking Pictures to the Salon 67 

Bal des Quat'z' Arts 79 

Le Boul' Mich' 109 

Bohemian Cafes 147 

Le Cabaret du Soleil d'Or 171 

The Cafe Procope 207 

Le Moulin de La Galette 221 

A Night on Montmartre 249 

Moving in the Quartier Latin 315 



In the Cabaret des Noctambules Frontispiece 

Coming from the Bal Bullier Title-page 

Our Arrival in Paris 15 

From the Hotel Window 17 

Bishop was Our Cook . . 19 

Our Concierge 24 

Our Court- Yard 27 

The Laundry Girl 31 

From the Hotel Window 36 

Typical Students of the Boul' Mich' 37 

Brother Musketeers of the Brush and a New Model .... 38 

A Paint-Brush Duel at the Beaux-Arts 45 

The Atelier G6r5me going out to drink at the Nouveaux's 

Expense 47 

GerQme criticising Bishop's Work 51 

Italian Models in Front of Colarossi's 55 

Rest Time for the Model 56 

A New Model at GerSme's Atelier 61 

Susanne, the Famous Parisian Model 64 

A NouvEAU 66 

An English Art Student 67 

The Last Moments and an Unfinished Picture 73 

The Upper Decks of the Omnibuses were Crowded 75 

Bal des Quat'z' Arts 79 

The Moulin Rouge on the Night of the Ball 81 

Two Costumes . 84 

Ticket for the Bal des Quat'z' Arts 88 

LfeANDRE AS Queen Victoria 89 

The Grand Cavalcade 91 

Bellona 93 

La Danse du Ventre 97 

The Gerome Atelier loi 

From the Ball 104 

Coming Home at seven a.m 105 

Susanne 108 

Butterflies of the Caf^ 109 




Sweetmeat Pedler no 

Seven p.m. at the Cakk D'Harcourt (Some Types^ iii 

Entrance to Bal Bullier 115 

Four Dashing Young Women ' 117 

Spectators at the Bal Bullier 119 

He has come to Paris to study Law 122 

The Can-Can at the Bal Bullier 123 

How Negro Students are welcomed 126 

Encore des Demi-Mondaines 127 

From the Cook-Shop 128 

One a.m. at the Caf£ Vachette 129 

A CAFi Fight 131 

" P'TITE FeMME a FaIRE" I33 

"Payez-moi UN Bock, MoN CnfeRi?" 135 

Having Fun with Bi-Bi-dans-la Pur^e 137 

Sleepy All-Nighters at the Cafe Barrette 143 

Long-Haired Students of the Boul' Mich' 146 

Maison Darblay 147 

La Caisse 148 

Madame Darblay, Famous for her Beans 149 

Some of the Actresses at Maison Darblay 151 

Mademoiselle Brunerye, of the Theatre GAiETfe, Montparnasse 153 

The Leading Man at the Gaiete 154 

The Artist, the Sculptor, the Blind Musician, his Wife . . . 156 

The Poet and his Mistress 157 

Monsieur Darblay cutting Bread in Sou Lengths 160 

The Heavy Villain 161 

" The Hole in the Wall" and Madame Morel 167 

The Musical Student at "The Hole in the Wall" 169 

In Heavy Bohemia 171 

The Lady in Black 175 

A Hunter of Scraps 177 

The Interior of the Soleil d'Or , 181 

The Pianist 186 

" II feTAiT une Fois" 187 


The Sketch Artist 200 

An Outcast of the Boulevards 204 


Paul Verlaine at Voltaire's Favorite Table in the Cafe 



Interior of the CAFfe Procope 215 

One of the Types 221 




Le Moulin de la Galette 

The Waltz at Le Moulin de la Galette 233 

In the Garden 244 

The Proprietor 248 

montmartre 249 

Tourists and Guide in Paris 250 

Entrance to " Heaven" 256 

He serves Beer in " Heaven" 257 

The Cabaret of " Heaven" 259 

The Golden Porcus 261 

In the Cabaret of Death 266 

A Waiter in the Cabaret of Death 267 

In the Passage to the Death Chamber 270 

In the Death Chamber 273 

The Entrance to " Hell" 277 

The Cabaret of " Hell" 283 

In Aristide Bruant's Cabaret 287 

Aristide Bruant reciting One of his Verses 293 

A Young Poet-Laureate 296 

In the CAFfe DU Conservatoire 297 

Marcel Legay 299 

J. Delarbre 300 

Gustave Corbet 301 


Cabaret des Quat'z' Arts 311 

Marius Geffroy 314 

A Student moving 315 

A Musicale at the Studio 319 

Studio Hunting 321 


THIS volume is written to show the life of the 
students in the Paris of to-day. It has an 
additional interest in opening to inspection 
certain phases of Bohemian life in Paris that are 
shared both by the students and the public, but that 
are generally unfamiliar to visitors to that wonderful 
city, and even to a very large part of the city's popu- 
lation itself. It depicts the under-side of such life as 
the students find, — the loose, unconventional life of 
the humbler strugglers in literature and art, with no 
attempt to spare its salient features, its poverty and 
picturesqueness, and its lack of adherence to gener- 
ally accepted standards of morals and conduct. 

As is told in the article describing that incompara- 
bly brilliant spectacle, the ball of the Four Arts, ex- 
treme care is taken to exclude the public and admit 
only artists and students, all of whom must be prop- 
erly accredited and fully identified. It is well under- 
stood that such a spectacle would not be suitable for 
any but artists and students. It is given solely for 
their benefit, and with the high aim, fully justified by 
the experience of the masters who direct the students, 
that the event, with its marvellous brilliancy, its splen- 
did artistic effects, and its freedom and abandon, has 
a stimulating and broadening effect of the greatest 


value to art. The artists and students see in these 
annual spectacles only grace, beauty, and majesty ; 
their training in the studios, where they learn to re- 
gard models merely as tools of their craft, fits them, 
and them alone, for the wholesome enjoyment of the 
great ball. 

It is a student that presents the insight which this 
volume gives into the life of the students and other 
Bohemians of Paris. It is set forth with the frank- 
ness of a student. Coming from such a source, and 
having such treatment, it will have a special charm 
and value for the wise. 

The students are the pets of Paris. They lend to 
the city a picturesqueness that no other city enjoys. 
So long as they avoid riots aimed at a government 
that may now and then offend their sense of right, 
their ways of living, their escapades, their noisy and 
joyous manifestations of healthy young animal life, 
are good-naturedly overlooked. Underneath such a 
life there lies, concealed from casual view, another life 
that they lead, — one of hard work, of hope, of aspira- 
tion, and often of pinching poverty and cruel self-de- 
nial. The stress upon them, of many kinds, is great. 
The utter absence of an effort to reorganize their 
lives upon conventional lines is from a philosophical 
belief that if they fail to pass unscathed through it 
all, they lack the fine, strong metal from which worthy 
artists are made. 

The stranger in Paris will here find opened to him 
places in which he may study for himself the Bohe- 
rnian life of the city in all its careless disregard of 


conventions. The cafes, cabarets, and dance-halls 
herein described and illustrated have a charm that 
wholesome, well-balanced minds will enjoy. The 
drawings for the illustrations were all made from the 
actual scenes that they depict ; they partake of the 
engaging frankness of the text and of its purpose to 
show Bohemian life in the Paris of to-day without 
any effort at concealment. 

W. C. M. 



WE were in wonderful Paris at last — Bishop 
and I — after a memorable passage full of 
interest from New Yorlc to Havre. Years of 
hard work were ahead 
of us, for Bishop would 
be an artist and I a 
sculptor. For two weeks 
we had been lodg- 
ing temporarily in 
the top of a com- 
fortable little 
hotel, called the 
Grand something 
(most of the Pari- \\\\\} 
sian hotels are 
Grand), the window of 
which commanded a su- 
perb view of the great 
city, the vaudeville play- 
house of the world. 
Pour la premiere fois the 
dazzle and glitter had 
burst upon us, confusing and incomprehensible at 
first, but now assuming form and coherence. If we 




could have had each a dozen eyes instead of two, or 
less greed to see and more patience to learn ! 

Day by day we had put off the inevitable evil 
of finding a studio. Every night found us in the 
cheapest seats of some theatre, and often we lolled 
on the terraces of the Cafe de la Paix, watching the 
pretty girls as they passed, their silken skirts saucily 
pulled up, revealing dainty laces and ankles. From 
the slippery floor of the Louvre galleries we had 
studied the masterpieces of David, Rubens, Rem- 
brandt, and the rest ; had visited the Pantheon, the 
Musee Cluny ; had climbed the Eiffel Tower, and 
traversed the Bois de Boulogne and the Champs- 
Elysees. Then came the search for a studio and 
the settling to work. It would be famous to have a 
little home of our very own, where we could have 
little dinners of our very own cooking ! 

It is with a shudder that I recall those eleven days 
of ceaseless studio-hunting. We dragged ourselves 
through miles of Quartier Latin streets, and up 
hundreds of flights of polished waxed stairs, behind 
puffing concierges in carpet slippers, the puffing 
changing to grumbling, as, dissatisfied, the concierges 
followed us down the stairs. The Quartier abounds 
with placards reading, " Atelier d' Artiste a Louer !" 
The rentals ranged from two hundred to two thou- 
sand francs a year, and the sizes from cigar-boxes to 
barns. But there was always something lacking. 
On the eleventh day we found a suitable place on 
the sixth (top) floor of a quaint old house in a pas- 
sage off the Rue St.-Andre-des-Arts. There were 



overhead and side lights, and from the window a 
noble view of Paris over the house-tops. A room 
of fair size joined the studio, and from its vine-laced 
window we could look into the houses across the 


court, and down to the bottom of the court as well. 
The studio walls were delightfully dirty and low in 
tone, and were covered with sketches and cartoons 
in oil and charcoal. The price was eight hundred 
francs a year, and from the concierge's eloquent 
2 17 


catalogue of its charms it seemed a great bargain. 
The walls settled our fate, — we took the studio. 

It was one thing to agree on the price and an- 
other to setde the details. Our French was ailing, 
and the concierge's French was — concierges' French. 
Bishop found that his pet theory that French should 
be spoken with the hands, head, and shoulders car- 
ried weak spots which a concierge could discover ; 
and then, being somewhat mercurial, he began floun- 
dering in a mixture of French and English words 
and French and American gestures, ending in de- 
spair with the observation that the concierge was a 

d fool. At the end of an hour we had learned 

that we must sign an iron-bound, government- 
stamped contract, agreeing to occupy the studio for 
not less than one year, to give six months' notice of 
our leaving, and to pay three months' rental in ad- 
vance, besides the taxes for one year on all the doors 
and windows, and ten francs or more to the con- 
cierge. This was all finally settled. 

As there was no running water in the rooms (such 
a luxury being unknown here), we had to supply 
our needs from a clumsy old iron pump in the court, 
and employ six flights of stairs in the process. 

Then the studio had to be furnished, and there 
came endless battles with the furniture dealers in 
the neighborhood, who kept their stock replenished 
from the goods of bankrupt artists and suspended 
menages. These marchands de meubles are a wily 
race, but Bishop pursued a plan in dealing with 
them that worked admirably. He would enter a 




shop and price an article that we wanted, and then 
throw up his hands in horror and leave the place as 
though it were haunted with a plague. The dealer 
would always come tumbling after him and offer 
him the article for a half or a third of the former 
price. In this way Bishop bought chairs, tables, a 
large easel, beds, a studio stove, book-shelves, linen, 
drapings, water pitchers and buckets, dishes, cooking 
utensils, and many other things, the cost of the 
whole being less than one hundred and fifty francs, — 
and thus we were established. The studio became 
quite a snug and hospitable retreat, in spite of the 
alarming arrangement that Bishop adopted, "to help 
the composition of the room." His favorite cast, 
the Unknown Woman, occupied the place of honor 
over his couch, where he could see it the first thing 
in the morning, when the dawn, stealing through the 
skylight, brought out those strange and subtle fea- 
tures which he swore inspired him from day to day. 
My room was filled with brilliant posters by Cheret 
and Mucha and Steinlen — they were too bold and 
showy for the low tone of Bishop's studio. It all 
made a pretty picture. — the dizzy posters, the solemn 
trunks, the books, the bed with its gaudy print 
coverings, and the little crooked-pane window hung 
with bright green vines that ran thither from a box 
in the window of an adjoining apartment. And it 
was all completed by the bright faces of three pretty 
seamstresses, who sat sewing every day at their 
window across the passage. 

Under our housekeeping agreement Bishop was 


made cook, and I chambermaid and water-carrier. 
It was Bishop's duty to obey the alarm clock at six 
every morning and light the fire, while I went down 
for water at the pump, and for milk at the stand 
beside the court entrance, where fat Madame Giote 
sold cafe-au-lait and lait froid ou chaud, from a sou's 
worth up. Then, after breakfast, I did the chamber 
work while Bishop washed the dishes. Bishop could 
make for breakfast the most delicious coffee and 
flapjacks and omelette in the whole of Paris. By 
eight o'clock all was in order ; Bishop was smoking 
his pipe and singing " Down on the Farm" while 
working on his life study, and I was off to my 
modelling in clay. 

Bishop soon had the hearts of all the shop-keepers 
in the neighborhood. The baker's dimple-cheeked 
daughter never worried if the scales hung a little in 
his favor, at the boucherie he was served with the 
choicest cuts of meat, and the fried-potato women 
called him "mon fils" and fried a fresh lot of potatoes 
for him. Even Madame Tonneau. the marchande de 
tabac, saw that he had the freshest packages in the 
shop. Often, when I was returning home at night, 
I encountered him making cheerily for the studio, 
bearing bread by the yard, his pockets bulging with 
other material for dinner. Ah, he was a wonderful 
cook, and we had marvellous appetites ! So famous 
did he soon become that the models (the lady ones, 
of course) were eager to dine avec nous ; and when 
they did they helped to set the table, they sewed 
buttons on our clothes, and they made themselves 


agreeable and perfectly at home with that charming- 
grace which is so peculiarly French. Ah, those were 
jolly times ! 

The court, or, more properly, le passage, on which 
our window looked was a narrow little thoroughfare 
leading from the Rue St. -Andre des- Arts to the 
Boulevard St. -Germain. It bore little traffic, but 
was a busy way withal. It had iron-workers' shops, 
where hot iron was beaten into artistic lamps, grills, 
and bed-frames ; a tinsmith's shop ; a blanchisserie, 
where our shirts were made white and smooth by 
the pretty blanchisseuses singing all day over their 
work ; a wine-cellar, whose barrels were eternally 
blocking one end of the passage ; an embossed 
picture-card factory, where twoscore women, with 
little hammers and steel dies, beat pictures into 
cards ; a furniture shop, where everything old and 
artistic was sold, the Hotel du Passage, and a book- 
binder's shop. 

Each of the eight buildings facing the passage was 
ruled by a formidable concierge, who had her dark 
little living apartments near the entrances. These 
are the despots of the court, and their function is to 
make life miserable for their lodgers. When they 
are not doing that they are eternally scrubbing and 
polishing. They are all married. M. Maye, le mari 
de notre concierge, is a tailor. He sits at the window 
and mends and sews all day long, or acts as concierge 
when his wife is away. The husband of the con- 
cierge next door is a sergeant de ville at night, but 
in the early mornings as, in a soiled blouse, he emp- 



ties ash cans, he looks very unlike the personage 
dressed at night in a neat blue uniform and wearing 
a short sword Another concierge's husband fait des 
courses — runs errands — for sufficient pay. 

Should you fail to clean your boots on the mat, 
and thus soil the glossy stairs, have a care ! — a con- 
cierge's tongue 
has inherited the 
warlike character- 
istics of the Cae- 
sars. Rugs and 
carpets must not 
be shaken out of 
the windows after 
nine o'clock. 
Ashes and other 
refuse must be 
thrown into the 
big bin of the 
house not later 
than seven. 
Sharp at eleven 
in the evening 
the lights are ex- 
tinguished and 
the doors locked 
for the night ; and then all revelry must immediately 
cease. Should you arrive en retard, — that is, after 
eleven, — you must ring the bell violently until the 
despot, generally after listening for an hour to the 
bell, unlocks the catch from her couch. Then when 




you close the door and pass her lodge you must 
call out your name. If you are out often or till 
very late, be prepared for a lecture on the crime 
of breaking the rest of hard-working concierges. 
After the day's work the concierges draw their chairs 
out into the court and gossip about their tenants. 
The nearer the roof the lodger the less the respect he 
commands. Would he not live on a lower floor if he 
were able ? And then, the top floor gives small tips ! 

It is noticeable that the entresol and premiers 
etages are clean and highly polished, and that the 
cleanliness and polish diminish steadily toward the 
top, where they almost disappear. Ah, les con- 
cierges ! But what would Paris be without them ? 

Directly beneath us an elderly couple have apart- 
ments. Every morning at five the old gentleman 
starts French oaths rattling through the court by 
beating his rugs out of his window. At six he rouses 
the ire of a widow below him by watering his plants 
and incidentally drenching her bird-cages. Not long 
ago she rose in violent rebellion, and he hurled a 
flower pot at her protruding head. It smashed on 
her window-sill ; she screamed " Murder !" and the 
whole court was in an uproar. The concierges and 
the old gentleman's pacific wife finally restored order 
— till the next morning. 

Next to my room are an elderly lady and her 
sweet, sad-faced daughter. They are very quiet and 
dignified, and rarely fraternize with their neighbors. 
It is their vine that creeps over to my window, and 

it is carefully tended by the daughter. And all the 



doves and sparrows of the court come regularly to 
eat out of her hand, and a lively chatter they have 
over it. The ladies are the widow and daughter of a 
once prosperous stock broker on the Bourse, whom 
an unlucky turn of the wheel drove to poverty and 

The three seamstresses over the way are the sun- 
shine of the court. They are not so busy sewing 
and singing but that they find time to send arch 
glances toward our window, and their blushes and 
smiles when Bishop sends them sketches of them 
that he has made from memory are more than 

A young Scotch student from Glasgow, named 
Cameron, has a studio adjoining ours. He is a fine. 
jovial fellow, and we usually assist him to dispose 
of his excellent brew of tea at five o'clock. Every 
Thursday evening there was given a musical chez 
lui, in which Bishop and I assisted with mandolin and 
guitar, while Cameron played the flute. For these 
occasions Cameron donned his breeks and kilt, and 
danced the sword-dance round two table-knives 
crossed. The American songs strike him as being 
strange and incomprehensible. He cannot under- 
stand the negro dialect, and wonders if America is 
filled with negroes and cotton plantations ; but he 
is always delighted with Bishop's " Down on the 

Life begins at five o'clock in our court. The old 

gentleman beats his rugs, the milk-bottles rattle, the 

bread-carts rumble, Madame Giote opens her milk- 




stand, and the concierges drag the ash-cans out into 
the court, where a drove of rag-pickers fall upon 
them. These gleaners are a queer lot. Individuals 
and families pursue the quest, each with a distinct 
purpose. One will seek nothing but bones, glass, 
and crockery ; another sifts the ashes for coal ; an- 
other takes only paper and rags ; another old shoes 
and hats ; and so on, from can to can, none inter- 
fering with any of the others. The dogs are the first 
at the bins. They are regularly organized in working 
squads, travelling in fours and fives. They are quite 
adept at digging through the refuse for food, and 
they rarely quarrel ; and they never leave one bin 
for another until they have searched it thoroughly. 

The swish of water and a coarse brush broom an- 
nounces the big, strong woman who sweeps the gut- 
ters of the Rue St.-Andre-des-Arts. With broad 
sweeps of the broom she spreads the water over half 
the street and back into the gutter, making the worn 
yellow stones shine. She is coarsely clad and wears 
black sabots ; and God knows how she can swear 
when the gleaners scatter the refuse into the gutter ! 

The long wail of the fish-and-mussel woman, " J'ai 
des beaux maquereaux, des monies, poissons a frire, 
a frire !" as she pushes her cart, means seven o'clock. 

The day now really begins. Water-pails are 
clanging and sabots are clicking on the stones. 
The wine people set up a rumble by cleaning their 
casks with chains and water. The anvils of the 
iron-workers are ringing, and there comes the tink- 

tink-tink of the little hammers in the embossed-picture 



factory. The lumbering garbage-cart arrives to bear 
away the ash-bins, the lead-horse shaking his head 
to rinor the bell on his neck in announcement of the 
approach. Street-venders and hawkers of various 
comestibles, each with his or her quaint musical cry, 
come in numbers. "J'ai des beaux choux-fleurs ! O, 
comme ils sont beaux !" The fruit- and potato-women 
come after, and then the chair-menders. These mar- 
ket-women are early risers. They are at the great 
Halles Centrales at four o'clock to bargain for their 
wares ; and besides good lungs they have a marvel- 
lous shrewdness, born of long dealings with French 

Always near eight may be heard, " Du mouron 
pour les petits oiseaux !" and all the birds in the court, 
familiar with the cry, pipe up for their chickweed. 
'' Voila le bon fromage a la creme pour trois sous !" 
cries a keen-faced little woman, her three-wheeled 
cart loaded with cream cheeses ; and she gives a 
soup-plate full of them, wath cream poured gener 
ously over, and as she pockets the money says, 
"Voila ! ce que c'est bon avec des confitures !" Cream 
cheeses and prayer ! On Sunday mornings during 
the spring and summer the goat's-milk vender, blow- 
ing a reed-pipe, invades the passage with his living 
milk-cans, — a flock of eight hairy goats that know 
the route as well as he, and they are always willing 
to be milked when a customer offers a bowl. The 
tripe-man with his wares and bell is the last of the 
food-sellers of the day. The window-glass repairer, 
" Vitrier !" passes at nine, and then the beggars and 




strolling musicians and singers put in an appearance. 
In the afternoon the old-clo' man comes hobbling 
under his load of cast-off clothes, crying, " Marchand 
d'habits !" of which you can catch only " 'Chand 
d'habits !" and the barrel-buyer, " Marchand de ton- 
neaux !" The most musical of them all is the por- 
celain-mender, who cries, " Voici le raccommodeur de 
porcelaines, faience, cristal, poseur de robinets !" and 
then plays a fragment of a hunting-song. 

The beggars and musicians also have regular 
routes and fixed hours. Cold and stormy days are 
welcomed by them, for then pity lends activity to 
sous. A piratical old beggar has his stand near the 
entrance to the court, where he kneels on the stones, 
his faithful mongrel dog beside him. He occasion- 
ally poses for the artists when times are dull, but he 
prefers begging, — it is easier and more remunerative. 
Three times a week we are treated to some really 
good singing by a blind old man, evidently an artist 
in his day. When the familiar sound of his guitar is 
heard all noises in the passage cease, and all win- 
dows are opened to hear. He sings arias from the 
operas. His little old wife gathers up the sous that 
ring on the flags. Sometimes a strolling troupe of 
two actors and three musicians makes its appear- 
ance, and invariably plays to a full house. There 
are droves of sham singers who do not sing at 
all but give mournful howls and tell their woes to 
deaf windows. One of them, a tattered woman 
with two babies, refused to pose for Bishop, 
althouorh he offered her five francs for the afternoon. 

3 33 


Her babies never grow older or bigger as the years 

We all know when anybody in the passage is 
going to take a bath. There are no bath-tubs in 
these old houses, but that difficulty is surmounted 
by a bathing establishment on the Boulevard St.- 
Michel. It sends around a cart bearing a tank of 
hot water and a zinc tub. The man who pulls the 
cart carries the tub to the room, and fills it by carry- 
ing up the water in buckets. Then he remains 
below until the bath is finished, to regain his tub and 
collect a fi'anc. 

Since we have been here the court entrance has 
been once draped in mourning. At the head of the 
casket of old Madame Courtoise, who lived across the 
way, stood a stately crucifix, and candles burned, 
and there were mourners and yellow bead wreaths. 
A quiet sadness sat upon the court, and the people 
spoke in whispers only. 

And there have been two weddings, — one at the 
blanchisserie, where the master's daughter was mar- 
ried to a young mechanic from the iron shop. There 
were glorious times at the laundry that night, for the 
whole court was present. It was four in the morn- 
ing when the party broke up, and then our shirts 
were two days late. 

Thus ran the first months of the four years of our 
student life in Paris ; in its domestic aspects it was 
typical of all that followed. We soon became mem- 
bers of the American Art Association, and gradually 
made friends in charming French homes. Then 



there was the strange Bohemian Hfe lying outside 
as well as within the students' pale, and into the 
spirit of it all we found our way. It is to the Bohe- 
mian, not the social, life of Paris that these papers 
are devoted — a life both picturesque and pathetic, 
filled with the oddest contrasts and incongruities, 
with much suffering but more content, and spectacu- 
lar and fascinating in all its phases. No one can 
have seen and known Paris without a study of this 
its living, struggling artistic side, so strange, so re- 
mote from the commonplace world surging and 
roaring unheeded about it. 

On New Year's Day we had an overwhelming 
number of callers. First came the concierge, who 
cleaned our door-knob and wished us a prosperous 
and bonne annee. She got ten francs, — we did not 
know what was coming. The chic little blanchisseuse 
called next with our linen. That meant two francs. 
Then came in succession two telegraph boys, the 
facteur, or postman, who presented us with a cheap 
calendar, and another postman, who delivers only 
second-class mail. Thf-y got a franc each. Then 
the marchand de charbon's boy called with a clean 
face and received fifty centimes, and everybody else 
with whom we had had dealings ; and our offerings 
had a steadily diminishing value. 

We could well bear all this, however, in view of 
the great day, but a week old, when we had cele- 
brated Christmas. Bishop prepared a dinner fit for 
a king, giving the greater part of his time for a week 
to preparations for the great event. Besides a great 



many French dishes, we had turkey and goose, cooked 
for us at the rotisserie near by, and soup, oysters, 
American pastries, and a big, blazing plum-pudding. 
We and our guests (there were eight in all) donned 
full dress for the occasion, and a bonne, hired for the 
evening, brought on the surprises one after another. 
But why should not it have been a glorious evening 
high up among the chimney-pots of old Paris ? for 
did we not drink to the loved ones in a distant land, 
and were not our guests the prettiest among the 
pretty toilers of our court ? 



IT is about the fifteenth of October, after the long 
summer vacation, that the doors of the great 
Ecole des Beaux-Arts are thrown open. The 
first week, called "la semaine des nouveaux," is de- 


voted to the initiation and hazing of the new stu- 
dents, who come mostly from foreign countries and 



the French provinces. These festivities can never 
be forgotten — by the nouveaux. 

Bishop had condescendingly decided to become 
un eleve de Gerome — with some misgivings, for 


Bishop had developed ideas of a large and free 
American art, while Gerome was hard and academic. 
One day he gathered up some of his best drawings 
and studies (which he regarded as masterpieces) 
and, climbing to the imperiale of a Clichy 'bus, rode 



over to Montmartre, where Gerome had his private 
studio. He was politely ushered in by a man- 
servant, and conducted to the door of the master's 
studio through a hall and gallery filled with wonder- 
ful marble groups. Gerome himself opened the 
door, and Bishop found himself in the great man's 
workshop. For a moment Bishop stood dazed in 
the middle of the splendid room, with its great 
sculptures and paintings, some still unfinished, and 
a famous collection of barbaric arms and costumes. 
A beautiful model was posing upon a rug. But 
most impressive of all was the white-haired master, 
regarding him with a thoughtful and searching, but 
kindly, glance. Bishop presently found a tongue 
with which to stammer out his mission, — he would 
be a pupil of the great Gerome. 

The old man smiled, and, bidding his model retire, 
inspected carefully the array of drawings that Bishop 
spread at his feet, — Gerome must have evidence of 
some ability for the magic of his brain and touch to 

"Sont pas mal, mon ami," he said, after he had 
studied all the drawings ; " non, pas mal," Bishop's 
heart bounded, — his work was not bad! "Vous 
etes Americain ?" continued the master. " Cast un 
pays que j'aimerais bien visiter si le temps ne me 
manquait pas." 

Thus he chatted on, putting Bishop more and 
more at his ease. He talked of America and the 
promising future that she has for art ; then he went 
into his little office, and, asking Bishop's name, filled 



out the blank that made him a happy pupil of 
Gerome. He handed it to Bishop with this parting 
advice, spoken with great earnestness : 

" II faut travailler, mon ami — travailler ! Pour 
arriver, travailler toujours, serieusement, bien en- 
tendu !" 

Bishop was so proud and happy that he ran all 
the way up the six flights of stairs to our floor, burst 
into the studio, and executed a war-dance that would 
have shamed an Apache, stepping into his paint-box 
and nearly destroying his sacred Unknown. That 
night we had a glorious supper, with des escargots 
to start with. 

Early on the fifteenth of October, with his head 
erect and hope filling his soul. Bishop started for 
the Beaux-Arts, which was in the Rue Bonaparte, 
quite near. That night he returned wise and sad- 

He had bought a new easel and two rush-bottomed 
tabourets, which every new student must provide, 
and. loaded with these, he made for the Ecole. 
Gathered at the big gates was a great crowd of 
models of all sorts, men, women, and children, fat, 
lean, and of all possible sizes. In the court-yard, 
behind the gates, was a mob of long-haired students, 
who had a year or more ago passed the initiatory 
ordeal and become ancients. Their business now 
was to yell chaff at the arriving nouveaux. The con- 
cierge conducted Bishop up-stairs to the Adminis- 
tration, where he joined a long line of other nouveaux 
waiting for the opening of the office at ten o'clock. 



Then he produced his papers and was enrolled as a 
student of the Ecole. 

It is only in this government school of the four arts 
that the typical Bohemian students of Paris may be 
found, including the genuine type of French student, 
with his long hair, his whiskers, his Latin Quarter 
" plug" hat, his cape, blouse, wide corduroy trousers, 
sash, expansive necktie, and immense cane. The 
Ecole preserves this type more effectually than the 
other schools, such as Julian's and Colarossi's, where 
most of the students are foreigners in conventional 

Among the others who entered Gerome's atelier 
at the same time that Bishop did was a Turk named 
Haidor (fresh from the Ottoman capital), a Hun- 
garian, a Siamese, an American from the plains of 
Nebraska, and five Frenchmen from the provinces. 
They all tried to speak French and be agreeable as 
they entered the atelier together. At the door stood 
a gardien, whose principal business is to mark ab- 
sentees and suppress riots. Then they passed to 
the gentle mercies of the reception committee and 
the massier within. 

The massier is a student who manages the studio, 
models, and masse money. This one, a large fellow 
with golden whiskers (size and strength are valu- 
able elements of the massier's efficiency), demanded 
twenty-five francs from each of the new-comers, — this 
being the masse money, to pay for fixtures, turpen- 
tine, soap, and clean towels, et pour payer a boire. 
The Turk refused to pay, protesting that he had but 



thirty francs to last him the month ; but menacing 
stools and sticks opened his purse ; his punishment 
was to come later. After the money had been col- 
lected from all the nouveaux the entire atelier of over 
sixty students, dressed in working blouses and old 
coats, formed in line, and with deafening shouts of 
"A boire ! a boire !" placed the nouveaux in front to 
carry the class banner, and thus marched out into 
the Rue Bonaparte to the Cafe des Deux Magots, 
singing songs fit only for the studio. Their singing, 
shouting, and ridiculous capers drew a great crowd. 
At the cafe they created consternation with their 
shouting and howling until the arrival of great 
bowls of "grog Americain," cigarettes, and gateaux. 
Rousing cheers were given to a marriage-party across 
the Place St.-Germain. The Turk was forced to do 
a Turkish dance on a table and sing Turkish songs, 
and to submit to merciless ridicule. The timid little 
Siamese also had to do a turn, as did Bishop and 

W , the American from Nebraska, who had been 

a cowboy at home. After yelling themselves hoarse 
and nearly wrecking the cafe, the students marched 
back in a disorderly mob to the Ecole. Then the 
real trouble began. 

The gardien having conveniently disappeared, the 
students closed and barricaded the door. "A poil ! 
a poil !" they yelled, dancing frantically about the 
frightened nouveaux ; "a poil les sales nouveaux ! a 
poil !" They seized the Turk and stripped him, de- 
spite his desperate resistance ; then they tied his 
hands behind him and with paint and brushes dec- 



orated his body in the most fantastic designs that 
they could conceive. His oaths were frightful. He 
cursed them in the name of Allah, and swore to have 
the blood of all Frenchmen for desecrating the sacred 
person of a Moslem. He called them dogs of infidels 
and Christians. But all this was in Turkish, and the 
students enjoyed it immensely. " En broche !" they 
yelled, after they had made him a spectacle with the 
brushes ; " en broche ! II faut le mettre en broche !'' 
This was quickly done. They forced the Turk to 
his haunches, bound his wrists in front of his up- 
raised knees, thrust a long pole between his elbows 
and knees, and thus bore him round the atelier at 
the head of a singing procession. Four times they 
went round ; then they placed the helpless M. Haidor 
on the model-stand for future reference. The bad 
French that the victim occasionally mixed with his 
tirade indicated the fearful damnation that he was 
doubtless dealinof out in Turkish. 

A circle was then formed about him, and a solemn 
silence fell upon the crowd. A Frenchman named 
Joncierge, head of the reception committee, stepped 
forth, and in slow and impressive speech announced 
that it was one of the requirements of the Atelier 
Gerome to brand all nouveaux over the heart with 
the name of the atelier, and that the branding of the 
Turk would now proceed. Upon hearing this, M. 
Haidor emitted a fearful howl. But he was turned 
to face the red-hot studio stove and watch the brand- 
ing-iron slowly redden in the coals. During this 
interval the students sang the national song, and 



followed it with a funeral march. Behind the Turk's 
back a second poker was being painted to resemble 
a red-hot one. 

The hot poker was taken from the fire, and its 
usefulness tested by burning a string with it. Haidor 
grew deathly pale. An intense silence sat upon the 
atelier as the iron was brought near the helpless 
young man. In a moment, with wonderful clever- 
ness, the painted poker was substituted for the hot 
one and placed quickly against his breast. When 
the cold iron touched him he roared like a maddened 
bull, and rolled quivering and moaning upon the 
floor. The students were frantic with delight. 

It was some time before Haidor could realize that 
he was not burned to a crisp. He was then taken 
across the atelier and hoisted to a narrow shelf fifteen 
feet from the floor, where he was left to compose 
himself and enjoy the tortures of the other nouveaux. 
He dared not move, however, lest he fall ; and be- 
cause he refused to take anything in good-nature, 
but glared hatred and vengeance down at them, they 
pelted him at intervals with water-soaked sponges. 

The Hungarian and one of the French nouveaux 
were next seized and stripped. Then they were 
ordered to fight a duel, in this fashion : they were 
made to mount two stools about four feet apart. 
The Hungarian was handed a long paint-brush drip- 
ping with Prussian blue, and the Frenchman a simi- 
lar brush soaked with crimson lake. Then the bat- 
tle began. Each hesitated to splash the other at 
first, but as they warmed to their work under the 



shouting of the committee they went in with a will. 
When the Frenchman had received a broad splash 
on the mouth in return for a chest decoration of his 


adversary, his blood rose, and then the serious work 
began. Both quickly lost their temper. When they 
were unwillingly made to desist the product of their 
labors was startling, though not beautiful. Then 



they were rubbed down vigorously with turpentine 
and soiled towels, and were given a franc each for 
a bath, because they had behaved so handsomely. 

Bishop came next. He had made up his mind to 
stand the initiation philosophically, whatever it might 
be, but when he was ordered to strip he became ap- 
prehensive and then angry. Nothing so delights 
the students as for a nouveau to lose his temper. 
Bishop squared off to face the whole atelier, and 
looked ugly. The students silently deployed on 
three sides, and with a yell rushed in, but not before 
three of them had gone down under his fists did they 
pin him to the floor and strip him. While Bishop 
was thus being prepared, the Nebraskan was being 
dealt with. He had the wisdom not to lose his 
temper, and that made his resistance all the more 
formidable. Laughing all the time, he nevertheless 
dodged, tripped, wrestled, threw stools, and did so 
many other astonishing and baflling things that the 
students, though able to have conquered him in the 
end, were glad to make terms with him. In this ar- 
rangement he compelled them to include Bishop. 
As a result, those two mounted the model throne 
naked, and sang together and danced a jig, all so 
cleverly that the Frenchmen were frantic with delight, 
and welcomed them as des bons amis. The amazing 
readiness and capability of the American fist bring 
endless delight and perennial surprise to the French. 

The rest of the nouveaux were variously treated. 
Some, after being stripped, were grotesquely deco- 
rated with designs and pictures not suitable for gen- 


eral inspection. Others were made to sing, to re- 
cite, or to act scenes from familiar plays, or, in default 
of that, to improvise scenes, some of which were ex- 
ceedingly funny. Others, attached to a rope de- 
pending from the ceiling, were swung at a perilous 
rate across the atelier, dodging easels in their flight. 

At half-past twelve the sport was over. The 
barricade was removed, the Turk's clothes hidden, 
the Turk left howling on his shelf, and the atelier 
abandoned. The next morning there was trouble. 
The director was furious, and threatened to close 
the atelier for a month, because the Turk had not 
been discovered until five o'clock, when his hoarse 
howls attracted the attention of the gardien of the 
fires. His trousers and one shoe could not be 
found. It was three months before Haidor appeared 
at the atelier again, and then everything had been 

Bishop was made miserable during the ensuing 
week. He would find himself roasting over paper 
fires kindled under his stool. Paint was smeared 
upon his easel to stain his hands. His painting was 
altered and entirely re-designed in his absence. 
Strong-smelling cheeses were placed in the lining of 
his "plug" hat. His stool-legs were so loosened 
that when he sat down he struck the floor with a 
crash. His painting-blouse was richly decorated in- 
side and out with shocking coats of arms that would 
not wash out. One day he discovered that he had 
been painting for a whole hour with currant jelly 
from a tube that he thought contained laque. 

4 49 


Then, being a nouveau, he could never get a good 
position in which to draw from the model. Every 
Monday morning a new model is posed for the week, 
and the students select places according to the length 
of time they have been attending. The nouveaux 
have to take what is left. And they must be ser- 
vants to the ancients, — run out for tobacco, get 
soap and clean towels, clean paint-brushes, and keep 
the studio in order. With the sculptors and archi- 
tects it is worse. The sculptors must sweep the 
dirty, clay-grimed floor regularly, fetch clean water, 
mix the clay and keep it fresh and moist, and on 
Saturdays, when the week's work is finished, must 
break up the forty or more clay figures, and restore 
them to clay for next week's operations. The archi- 
tects must build heavy wooden frames, mount the 
projects and drawings, and cart them about Paris to 
the different exhibition rooms. 

At the end of a year the nouveau drops his hated 
title and becomes a proud ancient, to bully to his 
heart's content, as those before him. 

Mondays and Wednesdays are criticism days, for 
then M. Gerome comes down and goes over the 
work of his pupils. He is very early and punctual, 
never arriving later than half-past eight, usually be- 
fore half the students are awake. The moment he 
enters all noises cease, and all seem desperately 
hard at work, although a moment before the place 
may have been in an uproar. Gerome plumps down 
upon the man nearest to him, and then visits each of 
his eleves, storming and scolding mercilessly when 




his pupils have failed to follow his instructions. As 
soon as a student's criticism is finished he rises and 
follows the master to hear the other criticisms, so 
that toward the close the procession is large. 

Bishop's first criticism took him all aback. " Com- 
ment !" gasped the master, gazing at the canvas in 
horror. "Qu'est-ce que vous avez fait?" he sternly 
demanded, glaring at the luckless student, who, in 
order to cultivate a striking individuality, was paint- 
ing the model in broad, thick dashes of color. Ge- 
rome glanced at Bishop's palette, and saw a com- 
plete absence of black upon it. " Comment, vous 
n'avez pas de noir?" he roared. " C'est tres im- 
portant, la partie materielle ! Vous ne m'ecoutez 
pas. mon ami, — je parle dans le desert ! Vous 
n'avez pas d'aspect general, mon ami," and much 
more, while Bishop sat cold to the marrow. The 
students, crowded about, enjoyed his discomfiture 
immensely, and, behind Gerome's back, laughed in 
their sleeves and made faces at Bishop. But many 
others suffered, and Bishop had his inning with 

All during Gerome's tour of inspection the model 
must maintain his pose, however difficult and ex- 
hausting. Often he is kept on a fearful strain for 
two hours. After the criticism the boys show Gerome 
sketches and studies that they have made outside 
the Ecole, and it is in discussing them that his ge- 
niality and kindliness appear. Gerome imperiously 
demands two things, — that his pupils, before starting 
to paint, lay on a red or yellow tone, and that they 



keep their brushes scrupulously clean. Woe to him 
who disobeys ! 

After he leaves with a cheery " Bon jour, mes- 
sieurs !" pandemonium breaks loose, if the day be 
Saturday. Easels, stools, and studies are mowed 
down as by a whirlwind, yells shake the building, the 
model is released, a tattoo is beaten on the sheet- 
iron stove-guard, everything else capable of making 
a noise is brought into service, and either the model 
is made to do the danse du ventre or a nouveau is 

The models — what stories are there ! Every Mon- 
day morning from ten to twenty present themselves, 
male and female, for inspection in puris naturalibus 
before the critical gaze of the students of the differ- 
ent ateliers. One after another they mount the 
throne and assume such academic poses of their own 
choosing as they imagine will display their points to 
the best advantage. The students then vote upon 
them, for and against, by raising the hand. The 
massier, standing beside the model, announces the 
result, and, if the vote is favorable, enrols the model 
for a certain week to come. 

There is intense rivalry among the models. 
Strange to say, most of the male models in the 
schools of Paris are from Italy, the southern part 
especially. As a rule, they have very good figures. 
They begin posing at the age of five or six, and fol- 
low the business until old a^e retires them. Crowds 
of them are at the gates of the Beaux-Arts early on 
Monday mornings. In the voting, a child may be 



preferred to his seniors, and yet the rate of payment 
is the same, — thirty francs a week. 

Many of the older models are quite proud of their 
profession, spending idle hours in studying the atti- 


tudes of figures in great paintings and in sculptures 
in the Louvre or the Luxembourg, and adopting 
these poses when exhibiting themselves to artists ; 
but the trick is worthless. 

Few of the women models remain long in the pro- 
fession. Posing is hard and fatiguing work, and the 
students are merciless in their criticisms of any de- 
fects of figure that the models may have, — the French 
are born critics. During the many years that I have 
studied and worked in Paris I have seen scores of 



whither ? 

models begin their profession with a serious defer- 
mination to make it their life-work. They would 
appear regularly at the different ateliers for about 

two years, and would 
be (gratified to ob- 
serve endless repro- 
ductions of their 
graces in the prize 
rows on the studio 
walls. Then their 
appearance would be 
less and less regular, 
and they would finally 
al together — 
Some become 
of students and artists, but 
the cafes along the Boul' 
Mich', the cabarets of Mont- 
martre, and the dance-halls of the 
Moulin Rouge and the Bal Bullier 
have their own story to tell. Some 
are happily married ; for instance, 
one, noted for her beauty of face 
and figure, is the wife of a New 
York millionaire. But she was clever as well as 
beautiful, and few models are that. Most of them 
are ordinaire, living the easy life of Bohemian Paris, 
and having little knowledge of le monde propre. 
But, oh, how they all love dress ! and therein lies 
most of the story. When Marcelle or Helene ap- 




pears, all of a sudden, radiant in silks and creamy 
lace petticoats, and sweeps proudly into the crowded 
studios, flushed and happy, and hears the dear com- 
pliments that the students heap upon her, we know 
that thirty francs a week could not have changed the 
gray grub into a gorgeous butterfly. 

" C'est mon amant qui m'a fait cadeau," Marcelle 
w^ll explain, deeming some explanation necessary. 
There is none to dispute you, Marcelle. This vast 
whirlpool has seized many another like you, and will 
seize many another more. And to poor Marcelle it 
seems so small a price to pay to become one of the 
grand ladies of Paris, wath their dazzling jewels and 
rich clothes ! 

An odd whim may overtake one here and there. 
One young demoiselle, beautiful as a girl and suc- 
cessful as a model a year ago, may now be seen 
nightly at the Cabaret du Soleil d'Or, frowsy and 
languishing, in keeping with the spirit of her con- 
freres there, singing her famous " Le Petit Caporal" 
to thunderous applause, and happy with the love, 
squalor, dirt, and hunger that she finds with the luck- 
less poet whose fortunes she shares. It was not a 
matter of clothes with her. 

It is a short and easy step from the studio to the 
cafe. At the studio it is all little money, hard posing, 
dulness, and poor clothes ; at the cafes are the bril- 
liant lights, showy clothes, tinkling money, clinking 
glasses, popping corks, unrestrained abandon, and 
midnight suppers. And the studios and the cafes 
are but adjoining apartments, one may say, in the 



great house of Bohemia. The studio is the introduc- 
tion to the cafe : the cafe is the burst of sunshine 
after the dreariness of the studio ; and Marcelle 
determines that for once she will bask in the warmth 
and glow. . . . Ah, what a jolly night it was, and a 
louis d'or in her purse besides ! Marcelle's face was 
pretty — and new. She is late at the studio next 
morning, and is sleepy and cross. The students 
grumble. The room is stifling, and its gray walls 
seem ready to crush her. It is so tiresome, so 
stupid — and only thirty francs a week ! Bah ! . . . 
Marcelle appears no more. 

All the great painters have their exclusive model 
or models, paying them a permanent salary. These 
favored ones move in a special circle, into which the 
ordinaire may not enter, unless she becomes the 
favorite of some grand homme. They are never 
seen at the academies, and rarely or never pose in 
the schools, unless it was there they began their 

Perhaps the most famous of the models of Paris 
was Sarah Brown, whose wild and exciting life has 
been the talk of the world. Her beautiful figure 
and glorious golden hair opened to her the whole 
field of modeldom. Offers for her services as model 
were more numerous than she could accept, and the 
prices that she received were very high. She was 
the mistress of one great painter after another, and 
she lived and reigned like a queen. Impulsive, 
headstrong, passionate, she would do the most reck- 
less things. She would desert an artist in the middle 



of his masterpiece and come down to the studio to 
pose for the students at thirty francs a week. Gor- 
geously apparelled, she would glide into a studio, 
overturn all the easels that she could reach, and then 
sliriek with laughter over the havoc and consterna- 
tion that she had created. The students would greet 
her with shouts and lorm a circle about her, while 
she would banteringly call them her friends. Then 
she would jump upon the throne, dispossess the 
model there, and give a dance or make a speech, 
knocking off every hat that her parasol could reach. 
But no one could resist Sarah. 

She came up to the Atelier Gerome one morning 
and demanded une semaine de femme. The massier 
booked her for the following week. She arrived 
promptly on time and was posed. Wednesday a 
whim seized her to wear her plumed hat and silk 
stockings. " C'est beaucoup plus chic," she naively 
explained. When Gerome entered the studio and 
saw her posing thus she smiled saucily at him, but 
he turned in a rage and left the studio without a 
word. Thursday she tired of the pose and took one 
to please herself, donning a skirt. Of course pro- 
tests were useless, so the students had to recom- 
mence their work. The remainder of the week she 
sat upon the throne in full costume, refusing to pose. 
She amused herself with smoking cigarettes and 
keeping the nouveaux running errands for her. 

It was she who was the cause of the students' 
riot in 1893, — ^ ^^^^ ^^^^ came near ending in a revo- 
lution. It was all because she appeared at le Bal 



des Quat'z' Arts in a costume altogether too simple 
and natural to suit the prefect of police, who pun- 
ished her. She was always at the Salon on receiving- 
day, and shocked the occupants of the liveried car- 
riages on the Champs-Elysees with her dancing. In 
fact, she was always at the head of everything ex- 
traordinary and sensational among the Bohemians 
of Paris. But she aged rapidly under her wild life. 
Her figure lost its grace, her lovers deserted her, 
and after her dethronement as Queen of Bohemia, 
broken-hearted and poor, she put an end to her 
wretched life, — and Paris laughed. 

The breaking in of a new girl model is a joy 
that the students never permit themselves to miss. 
Among the many demoiselles who come every Mon- 
day morning are usually one or two that are new. 
The new one is accompanied by two or more of her 
girl friends, who give her encouragement at the ter- 
rible moment when she disrobes. As there are no 
dressing-rooms, there can be no privacy. The stu- 
dents gather about and watch the proceedings with 
great interest, and make whatever remarks their 
deviltry can suggest. This is the supreme test ; all 
the efforts of the attendant girls are required to 
hold the new one to her purpose. When finally, 
after an inconceivable struggle with her shame, the 
girl plunges ahead in reckless haste to finish the job, 
the students applaud her roundly. 

But more torture awaits her. Frightened, trem- 
bling, blushing furiously, she ascends the throne, and 

innocently assumes the most awkward and ridiculous 




poses, forgetting in that terrible moment the poses 
that she had learned so well under the tutelage of 


her friends. It is then that the fiendishness of the 
students rises to its greatest height. Dazed and 
numb, she hardly comprehends the ordeal through 
which she is now put. The students have adopted a 
grave and serious bearing, and solemnly ask her to 
assume the most outlandish and ungraceful poses. 
Then come long and mock-earnest arguments about 
her figure, these arguments having been carefully 
learned and rehearsed beforehand. One claims that 
her waist is too long and her legs too heavy ; another 
hotly takes the opposite view. Then they put her 
through the most absurd evolutions to prove their 
points. At last she is made to don her hat and 
stockings ; and the students form a ring about her 
and dance and shout until she is ready to faint. 

Of course the studio has a ringleader in all this 
deviltry, — all studios have. Joncierge is head of all 
the mischief in our atelier. There is no end to his 
ingenuity in devising new means of torture and fun. 
His personations are marvellous. When he imitates 
Bernhardt, Rejane, or Calve, no work can be done in 
the studio. Gerome himself is one of his favorite 
victims. But Joncierge cannot remain long in one 
school ; the authorities pass him on as soon as they 
find that he is really hindering the work of the stu- 
dents. One day, at Julian's, he took the class skel- 
eton, and with a cord let the rattling, quivering 
thing down into the Rue du Dragon, and frightened 
the passers out of their wits. As his father is chef 



d'orchestre at the Grand Opera, Joncierge junior 
learns all the operas and convulses us with imitations 
of the singers. 

Another character in the studio is le jeune Siffert. 
only twenty-three, and one of the cleverest of the 
coming French painters. Recently he nearly won 
the Prix de Rome. , His specialty is the 
imitation of the cries of domestic fowls 
and animals, and of street venders. 
Gerome calls him " mon his," and con- 
stantly implores him to 
be serious. I don't see 

Then there is Fiola. 
a young giant from Brit- 
tany, with a wonderful 
■facility at drawing. He 
will suddenly break into 
a roar, and for an hour sing one 
verse of a Brittany chant, driving 
the other students mad. 

Fournier is a little curly-headed 
fellow from the south, near Va- 
i^'^ I^P^'y lence, and wears corduroy trousers 
"* "^ tucked into top-boots. His great- 
est delip"ht is in plapfuingf the 


PARISIAN MODEL nouveaux. His favorite joke, if 

the day is dark, is to send a 

nouveau to the different ateliers of the Ecole in 

search of "le grand reflecteur." The nouveau, 

thinking that it is a device for increasing the light, 



starts out bravely, and presently returns with a large, 
heavy box, which, upon its being opened, is found 
to be filled with bricks. Then Fournier is happy. 

Taton is the butt of the atelier. He is an ingenu, 
and falls into any trap set for him. Whenever any- 
thing is missing, all pounce upon Taton, and he is 
very unhappy. 

Haidor, the Turk, suspicious and sullen, also is a 
butt. Caricatures of him abundantly adorn the 
walls, together with the Turkish crescent, and Turk- 
ish ladies executing the danse du ventre. 

Caricatures of all kinds cover the walls of the 
atelier, and some are magnificent, being spared the 
vandalism that spares nothing else. One, especially 
good, represents Kenyon Cox, who studied here. 

W , the student from Nebraska, created a sen- 
sation by appearing one day in the full regalia of a 
cowboy, including two immense revolvers, a knife, 
and a lariat depending from his belt. With the 
lariat he astonished and dismayed the dodging 
Frenchmen by lassoing them at will, though they 
exercised their greatest running and dodging agility 
to escape. They wanted to know if all Americans 
went about thus heeled in America. 

There is something uncanny about the little Siam- 
ese. He is exceedingly quiet and works unceasingly. 
One day, when the common spirit of mischief was 
unusually strong among the boys, the bolder ones 
beofan to hint at fun in the direction of the Siamese. 
He quietly shifted a pair of brass knuckles from 
some pocket to a more convenient one, and although 
5 65 


it was done so unostentatiously, the act was ob- 
served. He was not disturbed, and has been left 
strictly alone ever since. 

One day the Italian students took the whole 
atelier down to a little restaurant on the Quai des 
Grands-Augustins and cooked them an excellent 
Italian dinner, with Chianti to wash it down. Two 
Italian street-singers furnished the music, and Made- 
moiselle la Modele danced as only a model can. 



EVER since New Year's, when Bishop began 
his great composition for the Salon, our Hfe 
at the studio had been sadly disarranged ; 
for Bishop had so completely buried himself in his 

work that I was com- 

pelled to combine the 
functions of cook with 
those of chambermaid.- 
This double work, with 
increasing pressure 
from my modelling, re- 
quired longer hours at 
night and shorter hours in the 
morning. But I was satisfied, 
for this was to be Bishop's mas- 
terpiece, and I knew from the 
marvellous labor and spirit that 
he put into the work that some- 
thing good would result. 
The name of his great effort was "The Suicide." 
It was like him to choose so grisly a subject, for he 
had a lawless nature and rebelled against the com- 
monplace. Ghastly subjects had always fascinated 
him. From the very beginning of our domestic part- 
nership he had shown a taste for grim and forbidding 




things. Often, upon returning home, I had found 
him making sketches of armless beggars, twisted 
cripples, and hunchbacks, and, worse than all, dis- 
ease-marked vagabonds. A skull-faced mortal in the 
last stages of consumption was a joy to him. It was 
useless for me to protest that he was failing to find 
the best in him by developing his unwholesome tastes. 
" Wait," he would answer patiently ; " the thing that 
has suffering and character, that is out of the ordi- 
nary, it is the thing that will strike and live." 

The suicide was a young woman gowned in black ; 
she was poised in the act of plunging into the Seine ; 
a babe was tightly clutched to her breast ; and be- 
hind the unspeakable anguish in her eyes was a 
hungry hope, a veiled assurance of the peace to 
come. It fascinated and haunted me beyond all 
expression. It was infinitely sad, tragic, and terri- 
ble, for it reached with a sure touch to the very 
lowest depth of human agony. The scene was the 
dead of night, and only the dark towers of Notre- 
Dame broke the even blackness of the sky, save for 
a faint glow that touched the lower stretches from 
the distant lamps of the city. In the darkness only 
the face of the suicide was illuminated, and that but 
dimly, though sufficiently to disclose the wonderfully 
complex emotions that crowded upon her soul. This 
illumination came from three ghastly green lights on 
the water below. The whole tone of the picture was 
a black, sombre green. 

That was all after the painting had been finished. 
The making of it is a story by itself. From the first 



week in January to the first week in March the studio 
was a junk-shop of the most uncanny sort. In order 
to pose his model in the act of plunging into the 
river, Bishop had rigged up a tackle, which, depending 
from the ceiling, caught the model at the waist, after 
the manner of a fire-escape belt, and thus half sus- 
pended her. He secured his green tone and night 
effect by covering nearly all the skylight and the 
window with green tissue-paper, besides covering 
the floor and walls with green rugs and draperies. 

The model behaved very well in her unusual pose, 
but the babe — that was the rub. The model did 
not happen to possess one, and Bishop had not yet 
learned the difficulties attending the procuring and 
posing of infants. In the first place, he found scores 
of babes, but not a mother, however poor, willing 
to permit her babe to be used as a model, and a 
model for so gruesome a situation. But after he had 
almost begun to despair, and had well advanced with 
his woman model, an Italian M'^oman came one day 
and informed him that she could get an infant from 
a friend of her sister's, if he would pay her one 
franc a day for the use of it. Bishop eagerly made 
the bargain. Then a new series of troubles began. 

The babe objected most emphatically to the ar- 
rangement. It refused to nestle in the arms of a 
strange woman about to plunge into eternity, and 
the strange woman had no knack at all in soothing 
the infant's outraged feelings. Besides, the model 
was unable to meet the youngster's frequent de- 
mands for what it was accustomed to have, and the 



mother, who was engaged elsewhere, had to be 
drummed up at exasperatingly frequent intervals. 
All this told upon both Bishop and Francinette, the 
model, and they took turns in swearing at the unruly 
brat, Bishop in English and Francinette in French. 
Neither knew how to swear in Italian, or things 
might have been different. I happened in upon 
these scenes once in a while, and my enjoyment so 
exasperated Bishop that he threw paint-tubes, bot- 
tles, and everything else at me that he could reach, 
and once or twice locked me out of the studio, com- 
pelling me to kick my shins in the cold street for 
hours at a time. On such occasions I would stand 
in the court looking up at our window, expecting 
momentarily that the babe would come flying down 
from that direction. 

When Bishop was not sketching and painting he 
was working up his inspiration ; and that was worst 
of all. His great effort was to get himself into a 
suicidal mood. He would sit for hours on the floor, 
his face between his knees, imagining all sorts of 
wrongs and slights that the heartless world had put 
upon him. His husband had beaten him and gone 
off with another woman ; he had tried with all his 
woman-heart to bear the cross ; hunger came to 
pinch and torture him ; he sought work, failed to 
find it ; sought charity; failed to find that ; his babe 
clutched at his empty breasts and cried piteously for 
food ; his heart broken, all hope gone, even God 
forgetting him, he thought of the dark, silent river, 
the great cold river, that has brought everlasting 



peace to countless thousands of suffering young 
mothers like him ; he went to the river ; he looked 
back upon the faint glow of the city's lights in the 
distance ; he cast his glance up to the grim towers 
of Notre-Dame, standing cold and pitiless against 
the blacker sky ; he looked down upon the black 
Seine, the great writhing python, so willing to swal- 
low him up ; he clutched his babe to his breast, 
gasped a prayer . . . 

At other times he would haunt the Morgue and 
study the faces of those who had died by felo-de-se ; 
he would visit the hospitals and study the dying ; 
he would watch the actions and read the disordered 
thoughts of lunatics ; he would steal along the banks 
of the river on dark nights and study the silent mys- 
tery and tragedy of it, and the lights that gave shape 
to its terrors. In the end I grew afraid of him. 

But all things have an end. Bishop's great work 
was finished in the first days of March. Slowly, but 
surely, his native exuberance of spirits returned. 
He would eat and sleep like a rational being. His 
eyes lost their haunted look, and his cheeks filled 
out and again took on their healthy hue. And then 
he invited his friends and some critics to inspect his 
composition, and gave a great supper in celebration 
of the completion of his task. Very generous praise 
was given him. Among the critics and masters came 
Gerome and Laurens at his earnest supplication, and 
it was good to see their delight and surprise, and to 
note that they had no fault to find, — was not the 
picture finished, and would not criticism from them 



at this juncture have hurt the boy without accom- 
plishing any good ? Well, the painting secured hon- 
orable mention in the exhibition, and five years later 
the French government completed the artist's happi- 
ness by buying one of his pictures for the Luxem- 
bourg Gallery. 

But about the picture : the canvas was eight by 
ten feet, and a frame had to be procured for it. 
Now, frames are expensive, and Bishop had impov- 
erished himself for material and model hire. So he 
employed a carpenter in the court to make a frame 
of thick pine boards, which we painted a deep black, 
with a gold cornice. The whole cost was twenty-five 

Next day we hired a good-sized voiture-a-bras at 
eight sous an hour, and proceeded to get the tableau 
down to the court. It was a devilish job, for the 
ceilings were low and the stairs narrow and crooked. 
The old gentleman below us was nearly decapitated 
by poking his head out of his door at an inopportune 
moment, and the lady below him almost wiped the 
still wet babe from the canvas with her gown as she 
tried to squeeze past. The entire court turned out 
to wish Bishop good success. 

The last day on which pictures are admitted to the 

Salon, there to await the merciless decision of the 

judges, is a memorable one. In sumptuous studios. 

in wretched garrets ; amid affluence, amid scenes of 

squalor and hunger, artists of all kinds and degrees 

have been squeezing thousands of tubes and daubing 

thousands of canvases in preparation for the great 



day. From every corner of Paris, from every quarter 
of France and Europe, the canvases come pouring 
into the Salon. Every conceivable idea, fad, and 
folly is represented in the collection, and most of 
them are poor ; but in each and every one a fond 
hope centres, an ambition is staked. 

Strange as it may seem, most of these pictures are 
worked upon until the very last day ; indeed, many 
of them are snatched unfinished from their easels, to 
receive the finishing touches in the dust and confu- 
sion and deafening noise of the great hall where they 
are all dumped like so much merchandise. We saw 
one artist who, not having finished his picture, was 


putting on the final touches as it was borne ahead of 
him along the street on the back of a commission- 
naire. And all this accounts for the endless smearing 



everywhere noticeable, and for the frantic endeavors 
of the artists to repair the damage at the last moment. 

One great obstacle to poor artists is the rigid rule 
requiring that all tableaux shall be framed. These 
frames are costly. As a result, some artists paint 
pictures of the same size year after year, so that the 
same frame may be used for all, and others resort to 
such makeshifts as Bishop was compelled to employ. 
But these makeshifts must be artistically done, or the 
canvases are ignored by the judges. These efforts 
give rise to many startling effects. 

It was not very long, after an easy pull over the 
Boulevard St.-Germain, before we crossed the Seine 
at the Pont de la Concorde, traversed the Place de 
la Concorde, and turned into the Champs-Elysees, 
where, not far away, loomed the Palais des Beaux- 
Arts, in which the Salon is annually held in March. 
The Avenue des Champs-Elysees, crowded as it 
usually is in the afternoons, was now jammed 
with cabs, omnibuses, hand-carts, and all sorts of 
moving vans, mingling with the fashionable car- 
riages on their way to the Bois. The proletarian 
vehicles contained art, — art by the ton. The upper 
decks of the omnibuses were crowded with artists 
carrying their pictures because they could not afford 
more than the three-sous fare. And such an assort- 
ment of artists ! 

There were some in affluent circumstances, who 
rolled along voluptuously in cabs on an expenditure 
of thirty-five francs, holding their precious tableaux 
and luxuriantly smoking cigarettes. 



The commissionnaires had a great day of it. They 
are the ones usually seen asleep on the street cor- 
ners, where, when awake, they varnish boots or bear 
loads by means of a contrivance on their backs. On 


this day every one of them in Paris was loaded down 
with pictures. 

Many were the hard-up students, like Bishop, 
tugging hand- carts, or pairing to carry by hand pic- 
tures too large to be borne by a single person. And 
great fun they got out of it all. 

Opposite the Palais de Glace was a perfect sea of 
vehicles, artists, porters, and policemen, all inextri- 
cably tangled up, all shouting or groaning, and wet 
pictures suffering. One artist nearly had a fit when 
he saw a full moon wiped off his beautiful landscape, 
and he would have killed the guilty porter had not 
the students interfered. Portraits of handsome ladies 



with smudged noses and smeared eyes were common. 
Expensive gold frames lost large sections of their 
corners. But still they were pouring in. 

With infinite patience and skill Bishop gradually 
worked his voiture-a-bras through the maze, and 
soon his masterpiece was in the crushing mass at 
the wide entrance to the Salon. There it was seized 
and rushed along, and Bishop received in return a 
slip of paper bearing a number. 

While within the building we reconnoitred. Amid 
the confusion of howling inspectors, straining porters 
bearing heavy pictures, carpenters erecting par- 
titions, and a dust-laden atmosphere, numerous ar- 
tists were working with furious haste upon their 
unfinished productions. Some were perched upon 
ladders, others squatted upon the floor, and one had 
his model posing nude to the waist ; she was indif- 
ferent to the attention that she received. Thought- 
ful mistresses stood affectionately beside their artist 
amants, furnishing them with delicate edibles and 
lighting cigarettes for them. 

Some of the pictures were so large that they were 
brought in rolled up. One artist had made himself 
into a carpenter to mount his mammoth picture. 
Frightful and impossible paintings were numerous, 
but the painter of each expected a premiere medaille 

It was nearing six o'clock, the closing hour. Chic 
demoiselle artistes came dashing up in cabs, bringing 
with them, to insure safe delivery, their everlasting 
still-life subjects. 



Shortly before six the work in the building was 
suspended by a commotion outside. It was a con- 
tingent of students from the Beaux-Arts marching 
up the Champs-Elysees, yelling and dancing like 
maniacs and shaking their heavy sticks, the irresist- 
ible Sarah Brown leading as drum-major. She was 
gorgeously arrayed in the most costly silks and laces, 
and looked a dashing Amazon. Then, as always, 
she was perfectly happy with her beloved etudiants, 
who worshipped her as a goddess. She halted them 
in front of the building, where they formed a circle 
round her, and there, as director of ceremonies, she 
required them to sing chansons, dance, make comic 
speeches, and " blaguer" the arriving artists. 

The last van was unloaded ; the great doors closed 
with a bang, and the stirring day was ended. All 
the students, even the porters, then joined hands 
and went singing, howling, and skipping down the 
Champs-Elysees, and wishing one another success at 
the coming exhibition. At the Place de la Concorde 
we met a wild-eyed artist running frantically toward 
the Salon with his belated picture. The howls of 
encouragement that greeted him lent swifter wings 
to his leofs. 

The pictures finally installed, a jury composed of 
France's greatest masters pass upon them. The 
endless procession of paintings is passed before 
them ; the raising of their hands means approval, 
silence means condemnation ; and upon those simple 
acts depends the happiness or despair of thousands. 
But depression does not long persist, and the judg- 



ment is generally accepted in the end as just and 
valuable. For the students, in great part, flock to 
the country on sketching tours, for which arrange- 
ments had been already made ; and there the most 
deeply depressed spirits must revive and the habit 
of work and hope come into play. Year after year 
the same artists strive for recognition at the Salon ; 
and finally, when they fail at that, they reflect that 
there is a great world outside of the Salon, where 
conscientious effort is acceptable. And. after all, a 
medal at the Salon is not the only reward that life 
has to offer. 

And then, it is not always good for a student to 
be successful from the start. Just as his social en- 
vironment in Paris tries his strength and determines 
the presence or absence of qualities that are as use- 
ful to a successful career as special artistic qualifica- 
tions, so the trial by fire in the Salon exhibitions 
hardens and toughens him for the serious work of 
his life ahead. Too early success has ruined more 
artists than it has helped. It is interesting also to 
observe that, as a rule, the students who eventually 
secure the highest places in art are those whose 
difficulties have been greatest. The lad with the 
pluck to live on a crust in a garret, and work and 
study under conditions of poverty and self-denial 
that would break any but the stoutest heart, is the 
one from whom to expect renown in the years to 
come. Ah, old Paris is the harshest but wisest of 
mothers ! 


H ! ah ! vive les 
Quat'z' Arts 
Au Moulin 
Rouge — en route !" 
wildly rang through 
the lamplit streets of Paris as cab after cab and 
'bus after 'bus went thundering across town toward 
Montmartre, heavily freighted with brilliantly cos- 
tumed revellers of les Quat'z' Arts. Parisians ran 
from their dinner-tables to the windows and bal- 
conies, blase boulevardiers paused in their evening 
stroll or looked up from their papers at the cafe- 
tables, waiters and swearing cabbies and yelling 
newsboys stopped in the midst of their various 
duties, and all knowingly shook their heads, "Ah, 
ce sont les Quat'z' Arts !" 

For to-night was the great annual ball of the 
artists, when all artistic Paris crawls from its myste- 
rious depths to revel in a splendid carnival possible 
only to the arts. Every spring, after the pictures 
have been sent to the Salon, and before thq students 



have scattered for the summer vacation, the artists 
of Paris and the members of all the ateliers of the 
four arts — painting, sculpture, architecture, and en- 
graving — combine their forces in producing a spec- 
tacle of regal splendor, seen nowhere else in the 
world ; and long are the weeks and hard the work 
and vast the ingenuity devoted to preparations, — the 
designing of costumes and the building of gorgeous 

During the last three weeks the eleves of the 
Atelier Gerome abandoned their studies, forgot ail 
about the concours and the Prix de Rome, and de- 
voted all their energies to the construction of a 
colossal figure of Gerome's great war goddess, " Bel- 
lona." It was a huge task, but the students worked 
it out with a will. Yards of sackcloth, rags, old 
coats, paint rags, besides pine timbers, broken easels 
and stools, endless wire and rope, went into the 
making of the goddess's frame, and this was cov- 
ered with plaster of Paris dexterously moulded into 
shape. Then it was properly tinted and painted and 
mounted on a chariot of gold, A Grecian frieze of 
galloping horses, mounted, the clever work of Siffert, 
was emblazoned on the sides of the chariot. And 
what a wreck the atelier was after all was finished ! 
Sacre nom d'un chien ! How the gardiens must 
have sworn when cleaning-day came round ! 

The ateliers in the Ecole are all rivals, and each 
had been secretly preparing its coup with which to 
capture the grand prix at the bal. 

The great day came at last. The students of our 




atelier were perfectly satisfied with their handiwork, 
and the massier made all happy by ordering a retreat 
to the Cafe des Deux Magots, where success to the 
goddess was drunk in steaming "grog Americain." 
I'hen Bellona began her perilous journey across 
Paris to Montmartre and the Moulin Rouge. This 
was not an easy task, as she was fifteen feet high ; 
signs and lamp-posts suffered, and sleepy cab-horses 
danced as their terrified gaze beheld the giant god- 
dess with her uplifted sword. Crowds watched the 
progress of Bellona on the Avenue de 1' Opera, drawn 
by half a hundred students yelling the national hymn. 
The pull up the steep slope of Montmartre was 
heavy, but in less than two hours from the start at 
the Ecole the goddess was safely housed in the 
depths of the Moulin Rouge, there to await her 
triumphs of the night. 

Bishop, besides doing his share in the preparation 
of the figure, had the equally serious task of devising 
a costume for his own use at the ball. It was not 
until the very last day that he made his final decision, 
— to go as a Roman orator. Our supply of linen was 
meagre, but our only two clean bed-sheets and a few 
towels were sufficient, and two kind American ladies 
who were studying music and who lived near the old 
church of St. Sulpice did the fitting of a toga. The 
soles of a pair of slippers from which Bishop cut the 
tops served as sandals, and some studio properties 
in the way of Oriental bracelets completed his cos- 
tume. I was transformed into an Apache Indian by 
a generous rubbing into my skin of burnt sienna and 



cadmium, which I was weeks in getting rid of; a 
blanket and some chicken-feathers finished my array. 
Our friend Cameron, next door, went in his Scotch 
kilts. After supper we entered the Boul' Mich' 
and proceeded to the Cafe de la Source, where the 
students of the Atelier Gerome were to rendezvous. 
The Boul' was a spectacle that night. Time 

had rolled back the cur- 
tain of centuries ; ancient 
cemeteries had yielded up 
their dead ; and living 
ghosts of the ages packed 
all the gay cafes. History 
from the time of Adam 
had sent forth its tra- 
ditions, and Eves rubbed 
elbows with ballet-girls. 
There was never a jollier 
night in the history of the 
Qu artier Latin. 

We found the Cafe de 
la Source already crowded 
by the Gerome contingent and their models and 
mistresses, all en costume and bubbling with mer- 
riment and mischief. It was ten o'clock before all 
the students had arrived. Then we formed in pro- 
cession, and yelled and danced past all the cafes 
on the Boul' Mich' to the Luxembourg Palace and 
the Theatre de I'Odeon, to take the 'buses of the 
Montmartre Hne. These we quickly seized and 
overloaded in violation of the law, and then, dashing 




down the quiet streets of the Rive Gauche, headed 
for Montmartre, making a noise to rouse the dead. 
As we neared the Place Blanche we found the little 
streets merging from different quarters crowded with 
people in costume, some walking and others crowd- 
ing almost innumerable vehicles, and the balconies 
and portes-cocheres packed with spectators. The 
Place Blanche fronts the Moulin Rouge, and it was 
crowded and brilliantly lighted. The fagade of the 
Moulin Rouge was a blaze of electric lights and 
colored lanterns, and the revolving wings of the mill 
flamed across the sky. It was a perfect night. The 
stars shone, the air was warm and pleasant, and the 
trees were tipped with the glistening clean foliage 
of early spring. The bright cafes fronting the Place 
were crowded with gay revellers. The poets of Bo- 
hemia were there, and gayly attired cocottes as- 
sisted them in their fun at the cafe tables, extend- 
ing far out into the boulevard under the trees. 
At one corner was Gerome's private studio, high 
up in the top of the house, and standing on the 
balcony was Gerome himself, enjoying the brilliant 
scene below. 

As the Bal des Quat'z' Arts is not open to the 
public, and as none but accredited members of the 
four arts are admitted, the greatest precautions are 
taken to prevent the intrusion of outsiders ; and 
wonderful is the ingenuity exercised to outwit the 
authorities. Inside the vestibule of the Moulin was 
erected a tribune (a long bar), behind which sat the 
massiers of the different studios of Paris, all in 



striking costumes. It was their task not only to 
identify the holders of tickets, but also to pass on 
the suitability of the costumes of such as were other- 
wise eligible to admittance. The costumes must all 
have conspicuous merit and be thoroughly artistic. 
Nothing black, no dominos, none in civilian dress, 
may pass. Many and loud were the protestations 
that rang through the vestibule as one after another 
was turned back and firmly conducted to the door. 

Once past the implacable tribunes, we entered a 
dazzling fairy-land, a dream of rich color and reck- 
less abandon. From gorgeous kings and queens to 
wild savages, all were there ; courtiers in silk, naked 
gladiators, nymphs with paint for clothing, — all were 
there ; and the air was heavy with the perfume of 
roses. Shouts, laughter, the silvery clinking of 
glasses, a whirling mass of life and color, a bewilder- 
ing kaleidoscope, a maze of tangled visions in the 
soft yellow haze that filled the vast hall. There was 
no thought of the hardness and sordidness of life, 
no dream of the morrow. It was a wonderful witch- 
ery that sat upon every soul there. 

This splendid picture was framed by a wall of 
lodges, each sumptuously decorated and hung with 
banners, tableaux, and greens, each representing a 
particular atelier and adorned in harmony with the 
dominant ideals of their masters. The lodge of the 
Atelier Gerome was arranged to represent a Grecian 
temple ; all the decorations and accessories were 
pure Grecian, cleverly imitated by the master's de- 
voted pupils. That of the Atelier Cormon repre- 



sented a huge caravan of the prehistoric big-muscled 
men that appeal so strongly to Cormon ; large skel- 
etons of extinct animals, giant ferns, skins, and stone 
implements were scattered about, while the students 
of Cormon's atelier, almost naked, with bushy hair 
and clothed in skins, completed the picture. And 
so it was with all the lodges, each typifying a special 
subject, and carrying it out with perfect fidelity to 
the minutest detail. 

The event of the evening was the grand cortege ; 
this, scheduled for one o'clock, was awaited with 
eager expectancy, for with it would come the test of 
supremacy, — the awarding of the prize for the best. 
For this was the great art centre of the world, and 
this night was the one in which its rivalries would 
strain the farthest reach of skill. 

Meanwhile, the great hall swarmed with life and 
blazed with color and echoed with the din of merry 
voices. Friends recognized one another with great 
difficulty. And there was Gerome himself at last, 
gaudily gowned in the rich green costume of a Chi- 
nese mandarin, his white moustache dyed black, and 
his white locks hidden beneath a black skull-cap 
topped with a bobbing appendage. And there also 
was Jean Paul Laurens, in the costume of a Norman, 
the younger Laurens as Charlemagne. Leandre, the 
caricaturist, was irresistible as a caricature of Queen 
Victoria. Puech, the sculptor, made a graceful cour- 
tier of the Marie Antoinette regime. Willett was a 
Roman emperor. Will Dodge was loaded with the 
crown, silks, and jewels of a Byzantine emperor. 



Louis Loeb was a desperate Tartar bandit. Cas- 
taigne made a hit as an Italian jurist. Steinlen, 
Grasset, Forain, Rodin, — in fact, nearly all the re- 
nowned painters, sculptors, and illustrators of Paris 

--;'<< ,",i -- "'ji Vendredi 22 Avril 1898 a : 

c carlt. rigoureusement perMonnelle A I 
titalatre, doit, pour etre vjSable, 
qu iliU, U timbre du Comity et i 
Tout porteur d'une carte non pcrsoni 
coiUrdle par la deliguis des Alelien. \ 
Le service d'ordre exigers^ n^ 

Oe /a pari de M— 

"-Atelier GEROMS 

(Original size 6^ x 9^ inches) 

were there ; and besides them were the countless 
students and models. 

"La cavalcade! le grand cortege!" rose the cry 
above the crashing of the band and the noise of the 
revellers ; and then all the dancing stopped. Emerg- 
ing from the gardens through the open glass door, 
bringing with it a pleasant blast of the cool night 
air, was the vanguard of the great procession. The 
orchestra struck up the "Victor's March," and a 
great cry of welcome rang out. 


First came a band of yelling Indians dancing in, 
waving dieir spears and tomahawks, and so cleaving 
a way for the parade. A great roar filled the glass- 
domed hall when the first float appeared. It was 
daring and unique, but a masterpiece. Borne upon 
the shoulders of Indians, who were naked but for 
skins about their loins, their bodies stained a dark 
brown and striped with paint, was a gorgeous bed 
of fresh flowers and trailing vines ; and reclining in 
this bed were four of the models of Paris, lying on 
their backs, head to head, their legs upraised to sup- 
port a circular tablet of gold. Upon this, high in 
air, proud and superb, was the great Susanne in all 


her peerless beauty of face and form, — simply that 
and nothing more. A sparkling crown of jewels 
glowed in her reddish golden hair ; a flashing girdle 
of electric lights encircled her slender waist, bringing 


out the marvellous whiteness of her skin, and with 
deHcate shadows and tones modelUng the superb 
contour of her figure. She looked a goddess — and 
knew it. The crowd upon whom she looked down 
stood for a while spell-bound, and then, with a waving 
of arms and flags, came a great shout, " Susanne ! 
Susanne ! la belle Susanne !" Susanne only smiled. 
Was she not the queen of the models of Paris ? 

Then came Bellona ! Gerome, when he conceived 
and executed the idea embodied in this wonderful 
figure, concentrated his efforts to produce a most 
terrifying, fear-inspiring image typifying the horrors 
of war. The straining goddess, poised upon her 
toes to her full height, her face uplifted, her head 
thrust forward, with staring eyes and screaming 
mouth, her short two-edged sword in position for a 
sweeping blow, her glittering round shield and her 
coat of mail, a huge angry python darting its tongue 
and raising its green length from the folds of her 
drapery, — all this terrible figure, reproduced with 
marvellous fidelity and magnified tenfold, over- 
whelmed the thousands upon whom it glowered. 
Surrounding the golden chariot was a guard of 
Roman and Greek gladiators, emperors, warriors, and 
statesmen. From the staring eyes of Bellona flashed 
green fire, whose uncanny shafts pierced the yellow 
haze of the ball-room. Under a storm of cheers Bel- 
lona went on her way past the tribune of the judges. 

Following Bellona came a beautiful reproduction 
of Gerome's classical "Tanagra," which adorns the 
sculpture gallery of the Luxembourg. The figure 




was charmingly personated by Marcelle, a lithe, 
slim, graceful model of immature years, who was a 
rage in the studios. Gerome himself applauded the 


grace of her pose as she swept past his point of 
vantage in the gallery. 

Behind Tanagra came W , also of the Atelier 

Gerome, dressed as an Apache warrior and mounted 
on a bucking broncho. He was an American, from 
Nebraska, where he was a cowboy before he became 



famous as a sculptor. He received a rousing welcome 
from his fellow-artists. 

The Atelier Cormon came next, — a maornificent 
lot of brawny fellows clothed in skins, and bearing 
an immense litter made of tree branches bound with 
thongs and weighted down with strong naked women 
and children of a prehistoric age. It was a reproduc- 
tion of Cormon' s masterpiece in the Luxembourg 
Gallery, and was one of the most impressive compo- 
sitions in the whole parade. 

Then came the works of the many other studios, 
all strong and effective, but none so fine as the three 
first. The Atelier Pascal, of architecture, made a 
sensation by appearing as Egyptian mummies, each 
mummy dragging an Egyptian coffin covered with 
ancient inscriptions and characters and containing a 
Parisian model, all too alive and sensuous to person- 
ate the ancient dead. Another atelier strove hard for 
the prize with eggs of heroic size, from which as many 
girls, as chicks, were breaking their way to freedom. 

After the grand cortege had paraded the hall sev- 
eral times it disbanded, and the ball proceeded with 
renewed enthusiasm. 

The tribune, wherein the wise judges sat, was a 
large and artistic affair, built up before the gallery 
of the orchestra and flanked by broad steps leading 
to its summit. It was topped with the imperial es- 
cutcheon of Rome — battle-axes bound in fagots — and 
bore the legend, " Mort aux Tyrants," in bold letters. 
Beneath was a row of ghastly, bloody severed heads, 
— those of dead tyrants. 



The variety and originality of the costumes were 
bewildering. One Frenchman went as a tombstone, 
his back, representing a headstone, containing a suit- 
able inscription and bearing wreaths of immortelles 
and colored beads. Another, from the Atelier Bon- 
nat, went simply as a stink, nothing more, nothing 
less, but it was potent. He had saturated his skin 
with the juice of onions and garlic, and there was 
never any mistaking his proximity. Many were the 
gay Bacchantes wearing merely a bunch of grapes in 
their hair and a grape-leaf 

At intervals during the evening the crowd would 
suddenly gather and form a large circle, many deep, 
some climbing upon the backs of others the better to 
see, those in front squatting or lying upon the floor 
to accommodate the mass behind them. The forma- 
tion of these circles was the signal for the danse du 
ventre.* The name of some favorite model would be 

* The danse du ventre (literally, belly-dance) is of Turkish 
origin, and was introduced to Paris by Turkish women from 
Egypt Afterward these women exhibited it in the Midway 
Plaisance of the Columbian Exposition, Chicago, and then at 
the California Midwinter Exposition, San Francisco. As danced 
by Turkish women it consists of astonishing control and move- 
ments of the abdominal and chest muscles (hence its other name, 
muscle-dance), varied with more or less graceful steps and gyra- 
tions, with adjuncts, such as castanets, scarfs, etc., and the seem- 
ingly perilous use of swords. Such clothing is worn as least 
obscures the play of the muscles. It is danced to a particular 
Turkish air, monotonously repeated by an orchestra of male 
Turkish musicians, with Turkish instruments, and the dance is 
done solus. A dance closely analogous to it. though of a wholly 



yelled, and the orchestra would strike up the familiar 
Oriental strain. And there was always a model to 
respond. Then the regular dancing would be re- 
sumed until another circle was formed and another 
favorite goddess of the four arts would be called out. 

It was three o'clock when supper was announced 
by the appearance of two hundred white-aproned 
waiters carrying scores of tables, chairs, and hampers 
of plate and glassware. The guests fell to with a 
will and assisted in spreading and setting the tables ; 
almost in a moment the vast hall was a field of snow 
pricked out with the brilliant costumes of the revel- 
lers. Then came a frightful din of pounding on the 
tables for the supper. Again marched in the two 
hundred waiters, loaded with cases of champagne, 
plates of creamy soup, roasts, salads, cheeses, creams, 
cakes, ices, — a feast of Bacchus, indeed. The banquet 
was enjoyed with Bohemian abandon. 

The twelve wise judges of the Tribune now gravely 
announced their award of prizes, and each announce- 
ment was received with ringing applause. The Ate- 
lier Gerome received first prize, — fifty bottles of 

independent origin, is the hula-hula of the Hawaiian women ; but 
the hula-hula lacks the grace, dash, and abandon of the Turkish 
dance. The danse du ventre, as danced by French and American 
women who have "picked it up," is very different from that of 
the Turkish women — different both in form and meaning. What- 
ever of suggestiveness it may be supposed to carry is, in the 
adaptation, grossly exaggerated, and whatever of grace and special 
muscular skill, evidently acquired by Turkish women only from 
long and thorough drill, is eliminated. W. C. M. 



champagne, which were immediately taken posses- 
sion of. The other ateHers received smaller prizes, 
as their merits deserved, and all were satisfied and 
happy. The banquet was resumed. 

Now here was Susanne, not content with her tri- 
umph of the early evening, springing upon one of the 
central tables, sending the crockery and glassware 
crashing to the floor with her dainty foot, and serenely 
surveying the crowd as it greeted her tumultuously, 
and, seizing a bottle of champagne, sending its foam- 
ing contents over as wide a circle of revellers as her 
strength could reach, laughing in pure glee over 
her feat, and then bathing her own white body with 
the contents of another bottle that she poured over 
herself, A superb Bacchante she made ! A general 
salute of popping corks and clinking glasses greeted 
her, and she acknowledged the compliment with the 
danse du ventre. Susanne was so sure of the adora- 
tion and affection of the ateliers ! Her dance was a 
challenge to every other model in the chamber. One 
after another, and often several at a time, they 
mounted the tables, spurned the crockery to the 
floor, and gave the danse du ventre. The Moulin 
was indeed a wild scene of joyous abandonment, and 
from an artistic point of view grand, a luminous 
point in the history of modern times. Here were 
the life, the color, the grace of the living picture, with 
a noble background of surrounding temples, altars, 
statues, — a wonderful spectacle, that artists can 
understand and appreciate. 

The feast wore merrily through the small hours 



until the cold blue dawn began to pale the lights in 
the ceiling. Strangely beautiful was this color effect, 
as the blue stole downward through the thick yellow 
glamour of the hall, quickening the merry-makers 
with a new and uncanny light, putting them out of 
place, and warning them thence. But still the ball 
went rolling on. 

Though the floor was slippery with wine and dan- 
gerous from broken glass, dancing and the cutting 
of capers proceeded without abatement. The favor- 
ite danse du ventre and songs and speeches filled 
the night to the end of the ball, and then the big 
orchestra, with a great flourish, played the " Victor's 
March." This was the signal for the final proces- 
sion. The vast concourse of students and artists 
poured forth into the cool, sweet morning air, and 
the bal was at an end. 

Paris was asleep, that early April morning, save 
for the street-sweepers and the milkmaids and the 
concierges. But the Place Blanche was very much 
awake. The morningf air was new wine in stale 
veins, and it banished fatigue. 

" En cavalcade ! en cavalcade !" was the cry ; and 
in cavalcade it was. A great procession of all the 
costumers was formed, to march ensemble across 
Paris to the Quartier Latin. Even the proud Bellona 
was dragged along in the rear, towering as high as 
the lower wings of the now motionless red wind- 
mill. She seemed to partake in the revelry, for she 
swayed and staggered in an alarming fashion as she 
plunged recklessly down the steeps of Montmartre. 



The deserted Rue Blanche re-echoed the wild yells 
and songs of the revellers and the rattling of the 
string of cabs in the rear. The rows of heaped ash- 
cans that lined the way were overturned one after 
another, and the oaths and threatening brooms of 
the outraged concierges went for nothing. Even 
the poor diligent rag- and bone-pickers were not 
spared ; their filled sacks, carrying the result of 
their whole night's hunt, were taken from them and 
emptied. A string of carts heavily laden with stone 
was captured near the Rue Lafayette, the drivers 
deposed, and the big horses sent plunging through 
Paris, driven by Roman charioteers, and making 
more noise than a company of artillery. 

When the Place de 1' Opera was reached a thou- 
sand revellers swarmed up the broad stairs of the 
Grand Opera like colored ants, climbed upon the 
lamp-posts and candelabra, and clustered all over 
the groups of statuary adorning the magnificent 
fagade. The band took up a position in the centre 
and played furiously, while the artists danced ring- 
around-a-rosy, to the amazement of the drowsy resi- 
dents of the neighborhood. 

The cavalcade then re-formed and marched down 
the Avenue de 1' Opera toward the Louvre, where it 
encountered a large squad of street-sweepers wash- 
ing the avenue. In an instant the squad had been 
routed, and the revellers, taking the hose and brooms, 
fell to and cleaned an entire block, making it shine 
as it had never shone before. 

Cabs were captured, the drivers decorated with 



Roman helmets and swords, and dances executed on 
the tops of the vehicles. One character, with enor- 
mous india-rubber shoes, took delight in permitting 

cabs to run over his feet, 
while he emitted howls of 
agony that turned the hair 
of the drivers white. 

As the immense caval- 
cade filed through the nar- 
row arches of the Louvre 
court-yard it looked like a 
mediaeval army returning to 
its citadel after a victorious 
campaign ; the hundreds of 
battle-flags, spears, and bat- 
tle-axes were given a fine 
setting by the noble archi- 
tecture of the Pavilion de 
Rohan. Within the court 
of the Louvre was drawn up 
a regiment of the Garde Municipale, going through 
the morning drill ; and they looked quite formidable 
with their evolutions and bayonet charges. But 
when the mob of Greek and Roman warriors flung 
themselves bodily upon the ranks of the guard, ousted 
the officers, and assumed command, there was con- 
sternation. All the rigid military dignity of the scene 
disappeared, and the drill was turned into such a 
farce as the old Louvre had never seen before. The 
officers, furious at first, could not resist the spirit of 

pure fun that filled the mob, and took their revenge 




by kissing the models and making them dance. The 
girls had already done their share of the conquering 
by pinning flowers to military coats and coyly putting 
pretty lips where they were in danger. Even the 
tall electric-light masts in the court were scaled by 
adventurous students, who attached brilliant flags, 
banners, and crests to the mast-heads far above the 

\o the unspeakable relief of the officers, the march 
was then resumed. The Pont du Carrousel was the 
next object of assault ; here was performed the solemn 
ceremony of the annual sacrifice of the Quat'z' Arts 
to the river Seine. The mighty Bellona was the sac- 
rifice. She w^as trundled to the centre of the bridge 
and drawn close to the parapet, while the disciples 
of the four arts gathered about with uncovered heads. 
The first bright flashes of the morning sun, sweeping 
over the towers of Notre- Dame, tipped Bellona's up- 
raised sword with flame. The band played a funeral 
march. Prayers were said, and the national hymn 
was sung ; then Bellona was sent tottering and 
crashing over the parapet, and with a mighty plunge 
she sank beneath the waters of the Seine. A vast 
shout rang through the crisp morning air. Far 
below, poor Bellona rose in stately despair, and then 
slowly sank forever. 

The parade formed again and proceeded to the 
Beaux-Arts, the last point of attack. Up the narrow 
Rue Bonaparte went singing the tired procession ; 
the gates of the Ecole opened to admit it, cabs and 
all, and the doors were shut again. Then in the 


historic court-yard of the government school, sur- 
rounded by remnants of the beautiful architecture of 
once stately chateaux and palaces, and encircled by 
graceful Corinthian columns, the students gave a 
repetition of the grand ball at the Moulin Rouge. 
A strange and incongruous sight it was in the bril- 
liant sunshine, and the neighboring windows and 
balconies were packed with onlookers. But by half- 
past seven every trace of the Bal des Quat'z' Arts 
had disappeared, — the great procession had melted 
away to the haunts of Bohemia. 

C /-\> If li 



OF course the proper name for the great thor- 
oughfare of the Quartier Latin is the Boule- 
vard Saint-Michel, but the boulevardiers call 
it the Boul' Mich', just as the students call the Quatre 
Arts the Quat'z' Arts, because it is easier to say. 

The Boul' Mich' is the student's highway to relax- 
ation. Mention of it at once recalls whirling visions 
of brilliant cafes, with their clattering of saucers and 
glasses, the shouting of their white-aproned gargons, 
their hordes of gay and wicked damsels dressed in 
the costliest and most fashionable gowns, and a mul- 
titude of riotous students howling class songs and 
dancing and parading to the different cafes as only 
students can. This is the head-quarters of the Bo- 
hemians of real Bohemia, whose poets haunt the dim 

and quaint cabarets and read their compositions to 




admiring friends ; of flower-girls who offer you un 
petit bouquet, seulement dix centimes, and pin it 
into your button-hole before you can refuse ; of 
Turks in picturesque native costume 
selling sweetmeats ; of the cane man 
loaded down with immense sticks ; 
of the pipe man, with pipes having 
stems a yard long ; of beggars, gut- 
ter-snipes, hot-chestnut venders, ped- 
lers, singers, actors, students, and all 
manner of queer characters. 

The life of the Boul' Mich' begins 
at the Pantheon, where repose the 
remains of France's great men, and 
ends at the Seine, where the gray 
Gothic towers and the gargoyles of 
Notre-Dame look down disdainfully upon the giddy 
traffic below. The eastern side of the Boul' is lined 
with cafes, cabarets, and brasseries. 

This is historic ground, for where now is the old 
Hotel Cluny are still to be seen the ruins of Roman 
baths, and not a great distance hence are the partly 
uncovered ruins of a Roman arena, with its tiers of 
stone seats and its dens. The tomb of Cardinal 
Richelieu is in the beautiful old chapel of the Sor- 
bonne, within sound of the wickedest cafe in Paris, 
the Cafe d'Harcourt. In the immediate vicinity are 
to be found the quaint jumbled buildings of old 
Paris, but they are fast disappearing. And the Quar- 
tier abounds in the world's greatest schools and col- 
leges of the arts and sciences. 


It was often our wont on Saturday evenings to 
saunter along the Boul', and sometimes to visit the 
cafes. To Bishop particularly it was always a reve- 
lation and a delight, and he was forever studying 
and sketching the types that he found there. He 
was intimately acquainted in all the cafes along the 
line, and with the mysterious rendezvous in the dark 
and narrow side streets. 

American beverages are to be had at many of the 
cafes on the Boul', — a recent and very successful ex- 
periment. The idea has captured the fancy of the 
Parisians, so that "Bars Americains," which furnish 
cocktails and sours, are numerous in the cafes. 
Imagine a Parisian serenely sucking a manhattan 
through a straw, and standing up at that ! 

The Boul' Mich' is at its glory on Saturday nights, 
for the students have done their week's work, and 
the morrow is Sunday. Nearly everybody goes to 
the Bal Bullier. This is separated from the crowded 
Boul' Mich' by several squares of respectable dwell- 
ing-houses and shops, and a dearth of cafes prevails 
thereabout. At the upper end of the Luxembourg is 
a long stone wall brilliantly bedecked with lamps set 
in clusters. — the same wall against which Marechal 
Ney was shot (a striking monument across the way 
recalls the incident). At one end of this yellow wall 
is an arched entree, resplendent with the glow of 
many rows of electric lights and lamps, which reveal 
the colored bas-reliefs of dancing students and gri- 
settes that adorn the portal. Near by stands a row 
of voitures, and others are continually dashing up 

8 "3 


and depositing Latin-Quarter swells with hair parted 
behind and combed forward toward the ears, and 
dazzling visions of the demi-monde in lace, silks, and 
gauze. And there is a constantly arriving stream of 
students and gaudily dressed women on foot. Big 
gardes municipaux stand at the door like stone 
images as the crowd surges past. 

To-night is one-franc night. An accommodating 
lady at the box-office hands us each a broad card, 
and another, au vestiaire, takes our coats and hats 
and charges us fifty centimes for the honor. De- 
scending the broad flight of softly carpeted red 
stairs, a brilliant, tumultuous, roaring vision bursts 
upon us, for it is between the dances, and the vis- 
itors are laughing and talking and drinking. The 
ball-room opens into a generous garden filled with 
trees and shrubbery ingeniously devised to assure 
many a secluded nook, and steaming gargons are 
flying hither and thither serving foaming bocks and 
colored syrups to nymphs in bicycle bloomers, long- 
haired students under tam o'shanters, and the swells 
peculiar to le Quartier Latin. 

"Ah! Monsieur Beeshop, comment vas tu ?" 
" Tiens ! le voila, Beeshop!" "Ah, mon ange !" 
and other affectionate greetings made Bishop start 
guiltily, and then he discovered Helene and Mar- 
celle, two saucy little models who had posed at the 
Ecole. There also was Fannie, formerly (before 
she drifted to the cafes) our blanchisseuse, leaning 
heavily upon the arm of son amant, who, a butcher- 
boy during the day, was now arrayed in a cutaway 




coat and other things to match, including a red 
cravat that Fannie herself had tied ; but he wore no 
cuffs. Many other acquaintances presented them- 
selves to Bishop, somewhat to his embarrassment. 
One, quite a swell member of the demi-monde, for a 
moment deserted her infatuated companion, a gigan- 
tic Martinique negro, gorgeously 
apparelled, and ran up to tease 
Bishop to paint her portrait a I'ceil, 
and also to engage him for la pro- 
chaine valse. 

The m u s i - 
cians were now 
playing a schot- 
tische, but large 
circles would be 
formed here 
and there in the 
hall, where 
clever exhibi- 
tions of fancy 
dancing would 
be given by 
students and 
by fashionably 
gowned damsels with a penchant for displaying their 
lingerie and hosiery. The front of the band-stand 
was the favorite place for this. Here four dashing 
young women were raising a whirlwind of lingerie 
and slippers, while the crowd applauded and tossed 
sous at their feet. 




Next to us stood a fat, cheery-faced little man, 
bearing the unmistakable stamp of an American 
tourist. His hands were in his pockets, his silk hat 
was tipped back, and his beaming red face and 
bulging eyes showed the intensity of his enjoyment. 
Without the slightest warning the slippered foot of 
one of these dancers found his shining tile and sent 
it bounding across the floor. For a moment the 
American was dazed by the suddenness and un- 
earthly neatness of the feat ; then he emitted a 
whoop of wonder and admiration, and in English 
exclaimed, — 

" You gol-darned bunch of French skirts — say, 
you're all right, you are, Marie ! Bet you can't do 
it again !" 

He confided to Bishop that his name was Pugson 
and that he was from Cincinnati. 

"Why," he exclaimed, joyously, "Paris is the top 
of the earth ! You artists are an enviable lot, livino- 

over here all the time and painting Gad ! look 

at her !" and he was pushing his way through the 
crowd to get a better view of an uncommonly start- 
ling dancer, who was at the moment an indeter- 
minate fluffy bunch of skirts, linen, and hosiery. 
Ah, what tales he will tell of Paris when he returns 
to Cincinnati, and how he will be accused of exag- 
gerating ! 

The four girls forming the centre of attraction 
were now doing all manner of astonishing things 
possible only to Parisian feminine anatomy. In an- 
other circle near by was Johnson, the American 



architect, stirring enthusiastic applause as he hopped 
about, Indian fashion, with a Httle brunette whose 
face was hidden in the shadow of her immense hat, 
her hair en bandeau, a la de Merode. Could this 
really be the quiet Johnson of the Ecole, who but a 
week ago had been showing his mother and charm- 
ing sister over Paris ? And there, too, was his close 
friend, Walden, of Michigan, leading a heavy blonde 
to the dance ! There were others whom we knew. 
The little Siamese was flirting desperately with a 
vision in white standing near his friend, a Japanese, 
who, in turn, was listening to the cooing of a clinging 
bloomer girl. Even Haidor, the Turk, was there, 
but he was alone in the gallery. Many sober fel- 
lows whom I had met at the studio were there, but 
they were sober now only in the sense that they 
were not drunk. And there were law students, too, 
in velveteen caps and jackets, and students in the 
sciences, and students in music, and neglige poets, 
litterateurs, and artists, and every model and cocotte 
who could furnish her back sufficiently well to pass 
the censorship of the severe critic at the door. If 
she be attractively dressed, she may enter free ; if 
not, she may not enter at all. 

The gayety increased as the hours lengthened ; 
the dancing was livelier, the shouting was more 
vociferous, skirts swirled more freely, and thin glasses 
fell crashing to the floor. 

It was pleasanter out in the cool garden, for it 
was dreadfully hard to keep from dancing inside. 
The soft gleam of the colored lamps and lanterns 



was soothing, and the music was softened down to 
an echo. The broken rays of the lanterns embedded 
in the foHage laid bright patterns on the showy silks 
of the women, and the gar^ons 
made no noise as they flitted 
swiftly through the mazes of 

At one end of the garden, 
surrounded by an hilarious 
group, were four wooden rock- 
ing - horses worked 

on springs. Astride 
of two of these were 
an army officer and 
his companion, a 
bloomer girl, who 
persistently twisted 
her ankles round her 
horse's head. The 
two others were rid- 
den by a poet and 
a jauntily attired gri- 
sette. The four were 
gleeful as chil- 



A flash-light photographer did a driving trade at 
a franc a flash, and there were a shooting-gallery, a 
fortune-teller, sou-in-the-slot machines, and wooden 
figures of negroes with pads on their other ends, by 
punching which we might see how hard we could hit. 

We are back in the ball-room again, — it is hard to 


keep out. The gayety is at its height, the Bal BulHer is 
in full swing. The tables are piled high with saucers, 
and the gargons are bringing more. The room is 
warm and suffocating, the dancing and flirting faster 
than ever. Now and then a line is formed to " crack 
the whip," and woe betide anything that comes in its 
way ! 

Our genial, generous new friend from Cincinnati 
was living the most glorious hour of his life. He 
had not been satisfied until he found and captured 
the saucy little wretch who had sent his hat spinning 
across the room ; so now she was anchored to him, 
and he was giving exhibitions of American grace and 
agility that would have amazed his friends at home. 
For obviously he was a person of consequence there. 
When he saw us his face beamed with triumph, and 
he proudly introduced us to his mignonette-scented 
conquest, Mad-dem-mo-zel Madeleine (which he pro- 
nounced Madelyne), "the queen of the Latin Quar- 
ter. But blamed if I can talk the blooming lingo !" 
he exclaimed, ruefully. "You translate for me, 
won't you ?" he appealed to Bishop, and Bishop 
complied. In paying compliments thus transmitted 
to Madeleine he displayed an adeptness that likely 
would have astounded his good spouse, who at that 
moment was slumbering in a respectable part of 

But the big black Martinique negroes, — they 
haunted and dominated everything, and the demi- 
monde fell down and worshipped them. They are 
students of law and medicine, and are sent hither 



from the French colonies by the government, or 
come on their private means. They are all heavy 
swells, as only negroes can be ; their well-fitted 
clothes are of the finest and most showy material ; 


they wear shining silk hats, white waistcoats, white 
"spats," patent leathers, and very light kid gloves, 
not to mention a load of massive jewelry. The 
girls flutter about them in bevies, like doves to be 

At exactly a quarter-past midnight the band played 
the last piece, the lights began to go out, and the 
Bal Bullier was closed. 

Out into the boulevard surged the heated crowd, 
shouting, singing, and cutting capers as they headed 
for the Boul' Mich', there to continue the revelries of 
which the Bal Bullier was only the beginning, "A 



la Taverne du Pantheon!" "Au Cafe Lorrain !" 
"All Cafe d'Harcourt !" were the cries that rang 
through the streets, mingled with the singing of half 
a thousand people. In this mob we again encoun- 
tered our American acquaintance with his prize, and 
as he was bent on seeing all that he could of Paris, 



he begged us to see him through, explaining that 

money was no object with him, though delicately 

adding that our friends must make so many calls 

upon our hospitality as to prove a burden at times. 

He had only two days more in Paris, and the hours 

were precious, and "we will do things up in style," 

he declared buoyantly. He did. 

Bishop's arm was securely held by a little lassie 

all in soft creamy silks. She spoke Engleesh, and 

demurely asked Bishop if " we will go to ze cafe 



ensemble, n'est-ce-pas ?" and Bishop had not the 
heart to eject her from the party. And so five of us 
went skipping along- with the rest, Mr. Pugson swear- 
ing by all the gods that Paris was the top of the earth ! 
When we reached the lower end of the Jardin du 
Luxembourg, at the old Palais, the bright glow of 
the cafes, with their warm stained windows and light- 
hearted throngs, stretched away before 
us. Ah, le Boul' Mich' never sleeps ! 
There are still the laughing grisettes, 
the singing and dancing students, the 
kiosks all aglow ; the marchand de 
marrons is roasting his chestnuts over 
a charcoal brazier, sending out a savory 
aroma ; the swarthy Turk is offering his 
wares with a princely grace ; the flower- 
girls flit about with freshly cut carna- 
tions, violets, and Marechal Niel roses, 
'rf?r-^=--7 — "This joli bouquet for your sweet- 

\3. «^^ heart," they plead so plaintively; the 

pipe man plies his trade ; the cane man 
mobs us, and the sellers of the last 
editions of the papers cry their wares. 
An old pedler works in and out among the cafe 
tables with a little basket of olives, deux pour un 
sou. The crawfish seller, with his little red ecrevisses 
neatly arranged on a platter ; Italian boys in white 
blouses bearing baskets filled with plaster casts of 
"works of the old masters ;" gewgaw pedlers, — they 
are still all busily at work, each adding his mite to 
the din. 




The cafes are packed, both inside and out, but the 
favorite seats are those on the sidewalk under the 

We halted at the Cafe d'Harcourt. Here the 
crowd was thickest, the sidewalk a solid mass of hu- 
manity ; and the noise and the waiters as they yelled 

A CAF6 fight 

their orders, they were there. And des femmes — 
how many ! The Cafe d'Harcourt is the head-quar- 
ters of these wonderful creations of clothes, paint, 
wicked eyes, and graceful carriage. We worked 
our way into the interior. Here the crowd was 
almost as dense as without, but a chance offered us 
a vacant table ; no sooner had we captured it than 
we were compelled to retreat, because of a battle 



that two excited demoiselles were having at an ad- 
joining table. In another part of the room there 
was singing of " Les sergents sont des brave gens," 
and in the middle of the floor a petite cocotte, her 
hat rakishly pulled down over her eyes, was doing 
a dance very gracefully, her white legs gleaming 
above the short socks that she wore, and a shock- 
ingly high kick punctuating the performance at inter- 
vals. At other tables were seated students with 
their friends and mistresses, playing dominoes or 
recounting their petites histoires. One table drew 
much attention by reason of a contest in drinking 
between two seasoned habitues, one a Martinique 
negro and the other a delicate blond poet. The 
negro won, but that was only because his purse was 
the longer. 

Every consommation is served with a saucer, upon 
which is marked the price of the drink, and the score 
is thus footed a la fin de ces joies. There are some 
heavy accounts to be settled with the gargons. 

" Ah ! voila Beeshop !" " Tiens ! mon vieux !" 
" Comment vas-tu ?" clamored a half-dozen of Bishop's 
feminine acquaintances, as they surrounded our table, 
overwhelming us with their conflicting perfumes. 
These denizens of the Boul' have an easy way of 
making acquaintances, but they are so bright and 
mischievous withal that no offence can be taken ; 
and they may have a stack of saucers to be paid for. 
Among the many cafe frequenters of this class fully 
half know a few words of English, Italian, German, 
and even Russian, and are so quick of perception 


p'tite femme a faire'' 


that they can identify a foreigner at a glance. Con- 
sequently our table was instantly a target, principally 
on account of Mr. Pugson, whose nationality ema- 
nated from his every pore. 

"Ah, milord, how do you do ? I spik Engleesh a 
few. Es eet notverra a beautiful night?" is what he 
got. "You are si charmant, monsieur!" protested 


another, stroking Bishop's Valasquez beard ; and 
then, archly and coaxingly, " Qu'est-ce que vous 
m'offrez, monsieur? Payez-moi un bock? Yes?" 
Mr. Pugson made the gargons start. He ordered 



"everything and the best in the house" (in English) ; 
but it was the lordliness of his manner that told, as 
he leaned back in his chair and smoked his Londres 
and eyed Madeleine with intense satisfaction. In the 
eyes of the beholders that action gave him the un- 
mistakable stamp of an American millionaire. "Tell 
you, boys," he puffed, " I'm not going to forget Paree 
in a hurry." And Mademoiselle Madeleine, how she 
revelled ! Mr. Pugson bought her everything that the 
venders had to sell, besides, for himself, a wretched 
plaster cast of a dancing-girl that he declared was 
"dead swell." "I'll take it home and startle the 
natives," he added; but he didn't, as we shall see 
later. Then he bought three big canes as souvenirs 
for friends, besides a bicycle lamp, a mammoth pipe, 
and other things. A hungry-looking sketch artist 
who presented himself was engaged on the spot to 
execute Mr. Pugson's portrait, which he made so 
flattering as to receive five francs instead of one, 
his price. 

At a neighboring table occupied by a group of 
students was Bi-Bi-dans-la-Puree, one of the most 
famous characters of the Quartier and Montmartre. 
With hilarious laughter the students were having 
fun with Bi-Bi by pouring the contents of their soup- 
plates and drinking-glasses down his back and upon 
his sparsely covered head ; but what made them 
laugh more was Bi-Bi's wonderful skill in pulling 
grotesque faces. In that line he was an artist. His 
cavernous eyes and large, loose mouth did marvel- 
lous things, from the ridiculous to the terrible ; and 



he could literally laugh from ear to ear. Poor Bi- 
Bi-dans-la-Puree ! He had been a constant com- 
panion of the great Verlaine, but was that no more, 


since Verlaine had died and left him utterly alone. 
You may see him any day wandering aimlessly about 
the Quartier, wholly oblivious to the world about 
him, and dreaming doubtless of the great dead poet 
of the slums, who had loved him. 

Here comes old Madame Carrot, a weazened little 
hunchback, anywhere between sixty and a hundred 
years of age. She is nearly blind, and her tattered 
clothes hang in strips from her wreck of a form. A 
few thin strands of gray hair are all that cover her 

" Bon soir, Mere Carrot ! ma petite mignonne, 
viens done qu'on t'embrasse ! Ou sont tes ailes ?" and 
other mocking jests greet her as she creeps among 
the tables. But Mere Carrot scorns to beg : she 
would earn her money. Look ! With a shadowy 



remnant of grace she picks up the hem of her ragged 
skirt, and with a heart-breaking smile that discloses 
her toothless gums, she skips about in a dance that 
sends her audience into shrieks of laughter, and no 
end of sous are flung at her feet. She will sing, too, 
and caricature herself, and make pitiful attempts at 
high kicking and anything else that she is called 
upon to do for the sous that the students throw so 
recklessly. There are those who say that she is 

In the rear end of the cafe the demoiselle who had 
anchored herself to the Martinique negro at the Bal 
Bullier was on a table kicking the negro's hat, which 
he held at arm's length while he stood on a chair. 
" Plus haut ! plus haut encore !" she cried ; but each 
time, as he kept raising it, she tipped it with her 
dainty slipper ; and then, with a magnificent bound, 
she dislodged with her toe one of the chandelier 
globes, which went crashing with a great noise to the 
floor ; and then she plunged down and sought refuge 
in her adorer's arms. 

The night's excitement has reached its height now. 
There is a dizzy whirl of skirts, feathers, " plug" hats, 
and silken stockings ; and there is dancing on the 
tables, with a smashing of glass, while lumps of sugar 
soaked in cognac are thrown about. A single-file 
march round the room is started, each dragging a 
chair and all singing, " Oh, la pauvre fille, elle est 
malade !" Mr. Pugson, tightly clutching his canes 
and his Dancing-Girl, joins the procession, his shiny 
hat reposing on the pretty head of Mademoiselle 



Madeleine. But his heart almost breaks with regret 
because he cannot speak French. 

I began to remonstrate with Bishop for his own 
unseemly levity, but the gloved hand of Mademoiselle 
Madeleine was laid on my lips, and her own red lips 
protested, "Taisez-vous done! c'est absolument in- 
excusable de nous faire des sermons en ce moment ! 
En avant !" And we went. 

It was two o'clock, and the cafes were closing, 
under the municipal regulation to do so at that 
hour, and the Boul' was swarming with revellers 
turned out of doors. 

At the corner of the Rue Racine stands a small 
boulangerie, where some of the revellers were beat- 
ing on the iron shutters and crying, " Voila du bon 
fromage au lait !" impatient at the tardiness of the 
fat baker in opening his shop ; for the odor of hot 
rolls and croissants came up through the iron gratings 
of the kitchen, and the big cans of fresh milk at the 
door gave further comforting assurances. 

Lumbering slowly down the Boul' were ponderous 
carts piled high with vegetables, on their way to the 
great markets of Paris, the Halles Centrales. The 
drivers, half asleep on the top, were greeted with 
demands for transportation, and a lively bidding 
for passengers arose among them. They charged 
five sous a head, or as much more as they could 
get, and soon the carts were carrying as many pas- 
sengers as could find a safe perch on the heaped 

" Aux Halles ! aux Halles ! nous allons aux Halles ! 



Oh, la, la, comme ils sont bons, les choux et les poti- 
rons !" were the cries as the carts lumbered on 
toward the markets. 

Mr. Pugson had positively refused to accept our 
resignation, and stoutly reminded us of our promise 
to see him through. So our party arranged with a 
masculine woman in a man's coat on payment of a 
franc a head, and we clambered upon her neatly 
piled load of carrots. Mr. Pugson, becoming impa- 
tient at the slow progress of the big Normandy horses, 
began to pelt them with carrots. The market-woman 
protested vigorously at this waste of her property, 
and told Mr. Pugson that she would charge him two 
sous apiece for each subsequent carrot. He seized 
upon the bargain with true American readiness, and 
then flung carrots to his heart's content, the driver 
meanwhile keeping count in a loud and menacing 
voice. It was a new source of fun for the irrepressi- 
ble and endlessly jovial American. 

Along the now quiet boulevard the carts trundled 
in a string. All at once there burst from them all an 
eruption of song and laughter, which brought out 
numerous gendarmes from the shadows. But when 
they saw the crowd they said nothing but "Les 
etudiants," and retreated to the shadows. 

As we were crossing the Pont-au-Change, oppo- 
site the Place du Chatelet, with its graceful column 
touched by the shimmering lights of the Seine, and 
dominated by the towers of Notre-Dame, Mr. Pug- 
son, in trying to hurl two carrots at once, incautiously 

released his hold upon the Dancing-Girl, which in- 



continently rolled off the vegetables and was shat- 
tered into a thousand fragments on the pavement of 
the bridge — along with Mr. Pugson's heart. After 
a moment of silent misery he started to throw the 
whole load of carrots into the river, but he quickly 
regained command of himself For the first time, 
however, his wonderful spirits were dampened, and 
he was as moody and cross as a child, refusing to be 
comforted even by Madeleine's cooing voice. 

The number of carts that we now encountered 
converging from many quarters warned us that we 
were very near the markets. Then rose the subdued 
noise that night-workers make. There seemed to be 
no end of the laden carts. The great Halles then 
came into view, with their cold glare of electric 
lights, and thousands of people moving about with 
baskets upon their backs, unloading the vegetable 
carts and piling the contents along the streets. The 
thoroughfares were literally walled and fortressed 
with carrots, cabbages, pumpkins, and the like, piled 
in neat rows as high as our heads for square after 
square. Is it possible for Paris to consume all of 
this in a day ? 

Every few yards were fat women seated before 
steaming cans of hot potage and cafe noir, with rows 
of generous white bowls, which they would fill for a 

Not alone were the market workers here, for it 
seemed as though the Boul' Mich' had merely taken 
an adjournment after the law had closed its portals 
and turned it out of doors. The workers were silent 



and busy, but largely interspersed among them were 
the demi-mondaines and the singing and dancing 
students of the Quartier, all as full of life and 
deviltry as ever. It was with these tireless revel- 
lers that the soup- and coffee-women did their most 
thriving business, for fun brings a good appetite, 
and the soup and coffee were good ; but better still 
was this unconventional, lawless, defiant way of 
taking them. Mr. Pugson's spirits regained their 
vivacity under the spell, and he was so enthusiastic 
that he wanted to buy out one of the pleasant-faced 
fat women ; we had to drag him bodily away to avert 
the catastrophe. 

In the side streets leading away from the markets 
are cafes and restaurants almost without number, 
and they are open toute la nuit, to accommodate 
the market people, having a special permit to do so ; 
but as they are open to all, the revellers from all 
parts of Paris assemble there after they have been 
turned out of the boulevard cafes at two o'clock. It 
is not an uncommon thing early of a Sunday morn- 
ing to see crowds of merry-makers from a bal 
masque finishing the night here, all in costume, 
dancing and playing ring-around-a-rosy among the 
stacks of vegetables and the unheeding market 
people. Indeed, it is quite a common thing to 
end one's night's frivolity at the Halles and their 
cafes, and take the first 'buses home in the early 

The contingent from the Boul' Mich', after assist- 
ing the market people to unload, and indulging in 




all sorts of pranks, invaded the elite cafes, among 
them the Cafe Barrette, Au Veau Qui Tete, Au Chien 
Qui Fume, and Le Caveau du Cercle. At this last- 
named place, singing and recitations with music 
were in order, a small platform at one end of the 
room being reserved for the piano and the per- 
formers. Part of the audience were in masquerade 
costume, having come from a ball at Montmartre, and 
they lustily joined the choruses. Prices are gilt- 
edged here, — a franc a drink, and not less than ten 
sous to the gargon. 

The contrast between the fluffy and silk-gowned 
demi-mondaines and the dirty, roughly clad market 
people was very striking at the Cafe Barrette. There 
the women sit in graceful poses, or saunter about 
and give evidence of their style, silk gowns, India 
laces, and handsome furs, greeting each new-comer 
with pleas for a sandwich or a bock ; they are 
always hungry and thirsty, but they get a commis- 
sion on all sales that they promote. A small string 
orchestra gave lively music, and took up collections 
between performances. The array of gilt-framed 
mirrors heightened the brilliancy of the place, already 
sufficiently aglow with many electric lights. The 
Cafe Barrette is the last stand of the gaudy women 
of the boulevards. With the first gray gleam of 
dawn they pass with the night to which they be- 

It was with sincere feeling that Mr. Pugson bade 
us good-by at five o'clock that morning as he jumped 
into a cab to join his good spouse at the Hotel Con- 

lo 145 


tinental ; but he bore triumphantly with him some 
sketches of the showy women at the Cafe Barrette, 
which Bishop had made. 

As for Madeleine, so tremedously liberal had she 
found Mr. Pugson that her protestations of affection 
for him were voluble and earnest. She pressed her 
card upon him and made him swear that he would 
find her again. After we had bidden her good-night, 
Mr. Pugson drew the card from his pocket, and 
thoughtfully remarked, as he tore it to pieces, — 

" I don't think it is prudent to carry such things 
m your pocket." 





VERY often, instead of having dinner at the 
studio, we saunter over to the Maison Dar- 
blay, passing the wall of the dismal Cimetiere 
du Montparnasse on the way. The Maison Dar- 
blay is in the little Rue de la Gaiete, which, though 
only a block in length, is undoubtedly the liveliest 
thoroughfare in the Quartier, That is because it 
serves as a funnel between the Avenue du Maine 
and five streets that converge into it at the upper 
end. Particularly in the early evening the little 
street is crowded with people returning from their 
work. All sorts of boutiques are packed into this 
minute thoroughfare, — jewelry-shops, pork-shops, 
kitchens (where they cook what you bring while you 
wait on the sidewalk), theatres, cafes chantants, 
fried-potato stalls, snail merchants, moving vegeta- 
ble- and fruit-markets, and everything else. 



In the middle of the block, on the western side, 
between a millinery-shop and a butcher-shop, stands 
the Maison Darblay, famous for its beans and its 
patrons. A modest white front, curtained windows, 
and a row of milk-cans give little hint of the charms 
of the interior. Upon entering we encounter the 
vast M, Darblay seated behind a tiny counter, upon 

which are heaped a 
pile of freshly ironed 
napkins, parcels of 
chocolate, a big dish 
of apple-sauce, rows 
of bottles containing 
bitters that work mira- 
cles with ailing appe- 
tites, and the tip-box. 
Reflecting M. Dar- 
blay' s beamy back and 
the clock on the oppo- 
site wall (which is 


always fifteen minutes 
fast) hangs a long mirror resplendent in heavy gilt 
frame ; it is the pride of the establishment, and 
affords comfort to the actresses when they adjust 
their hats and veils upon leaving. 

M. Darblay is manager of the establishment, and 
when it is reflected that he weighs two hundred and 
sixty pounds, it may be imagined what accurate ad- 
justments he has to make in fitting himself behind 
the small counter. When a boarder finishes his 
meal he goes to M. Darblay and tells him what he 


has had, including napkin and bread, and M. Darblay 
scores it all down on a slate with chalk and foots it 
up. After the bill is paid, the tip-box is supposed 
by a current fiction to receive two sous for Marie 
and Augustine, the buxom Breton maidens who 
serve the tables ; but so rarely does the fiction ma- 
terialize that, when the ratde of coins is heard in the 
box, the boarders all look up wonderingly to see the 
possible millionaire that has appeared among them, 
and Marie and Au- 
gustine shout at 
the top of their 
voices, "Merci 
bien, monsieur !" 

At the opposite 
end of the room, in 
full view, is the cui- 
sine, with its big 
range and ruddy 
fires. Here Ma- 
dame Darblay 
reigns queen, her 
genial, motherly red 
face and bright eyes 
beaming a welcome 
to all. She is from 
Lausanne, on Lake 
Geneva, Switzerland, and the independent blood of 
her race rarely fails its offices when M. Darblay 
incautiously seeks to interfere with her duties and 

prerogatives, for he retreats under an appalling vol- 




ley of French from his otherwise genial spouse ; on 
such occasions he seeks his own corner as rapidly as 
he can manage his bulk to that purpose. She is a 
famous cook. The memory of her poulets rotis and 
juicy gigots will last forever. But greatest of all are 
her haricots blancs, cooked au beurre ; it is at the 
shrine of her beans that her devoted followers worship. 

And her wonderful wisdom ! She knows intuitively 
if you are out of sorts or have an uncertain appetite, 
and without a hint she will prepare a delicacy that no 
epicure could resist. She knows every little whim 
and peculiarity of her boarders, and caters to them 
accordingly. The steaks and chops are bought at 
the shop next door just when they are ordered, and 
are always fresh. 

There are eight marble-top tables lining the two 
walls, and each table is held sacred to its proper 
occupants, and likewise are the numbered hooks 
and napkins. An invasion of these preserves is a 
breech of etiquette intolerable in Bohemia. 

Even the white cat is an essential part of the 
establishment, for it purringly welcomes the patrons 
and chases out stray dogs. 

Situated as it is, in a group of three theatres and 
several cafes chantants, it is the rendezvous of the 
actors and actresses of the neighborhood. They hold 
the three tables but one from the kitchen, on one 
side, and they are a jolly crowd, the actresses par- 
ticularly. They are a part of the Quartier and echo 
its spirit. Although full of mischief and fun, the 

actresses would never be suspected of singing the 



naughty songs that so dehght the gallery gods and 
so often wring a murmur of protest from the pit. 
There are ten who dine here, but from their inces- 
sant chatter and laughter you would think them 
twenty. On Friday evenings, when the 
songs and plays are changed, they re- 
hearse their pieces at dinner. 

Bishop is openly fond of Mademoi- 
selle Brunerye, a sparkling little bru- 
nette singer, who scolds him tragically 

for drawing horrible carica- 
tures of her when he sits be- 
fore the footlights to hear 
her sing. But it is always 
she that begins the trouble 
at the theatre. If Bishop is 
there, she is sure to see him 
and to interpolate something 
in her song about "mon 

amant Americain." and sing it pointedly at him, to 
the amusement of the audience and his great dis- 
comfiture ; and so he retorts with the caricatures. 




Upon entering the restaurant the actresses remove 
their hats and wraps and make themselves perfectly 
at home. They are the Hfe of Darblay's ; we couldn't 
possibly spare them. 

One of the actors is a great swell, — M. Fontaine, 
leading man at the Theatre du Montparnasse, op- 
posite. His salary is a hundred francs 
a week ; this makes the smaller actors 
look up to him, and enables him to 
wear a very long coat, besides gloves, 
patent-leather shoes, and a shiny top- 
hat. He occupies the place of honor, 
and Marie smiles when she serves 
him, and gives him a good measure 
of wine. He rewards this attention 
by depositing two sous in the tip-box 
every Friday night. Then there are 
M. Marius, M. Zecca, and M. Dufau, 
who make people scream with laughter 
at the Gaiete, and M. Coppee, the 
heavy villain of the terrible eyes in 
" Les Deux Gosses," and Mademoi- 
THE LEADING MAN selle Walzy, whose dark eyes sparkle 
AT THE GAiETfe ^j^j^ miscWef as she peeps over her 
glass, and Mademoiselle Minion, who kicks shock- 
ingly high to accentuate her songs, and eight other 
actresses just as saucy and pretty. 

The students of the Quartier practically take 
charge of the theatres on Saturday nights, and as 
they are very free with their expressions of approval 
or disapproval, the faces of the stage-people wear 



an anxious look at the restaurant on that evening. 
The students will throw the whole theatre into an 
uproar with hisses that drive an actor off the stage, 
or applause, recalls, and the throwing of two-sous 
bouquets and kisses to an actress who has made a 

Promptly at six-forty-five every night the venera- 
ble M. Corneau enters Darblay's, bringing a copy 
of Le Journal. He is extremely methodical, so that 
any interruption of his established routine upsets 
him badly. One evening he found a stranger in his 
seat, occupying the identical chair that had been 
sacred to his use every evening for six years. M. 
Corneau was so astonished that he hung his hat on 
the wrong hook, stepped on the cat's tail, sulked in 
a corner, and refused to eat until his seat had been 
vacated, and then he looked as though he wished it 
could be fumigated. He has a very simple meal. 
One evening he invited me — a rare distinction — to 
his room, which was in the top floor of one of those 
quaint old buildings in the Rue du Moulin de Beurre. 
It could then be seen what a devoted scientist and 
student he was. His room was packed with books, 
chemicals, mineral specimens, and scientific instru- 
ments. He was very genial, and brewed excellent 
tea over an alcohol-stove of his own manufacture. 
Twenty years ago he was a professor at the Ecole 
des Mines, where he had served many years ; but 
he had now grown too old for that, and was living 
his quiet, studious, laborious life on a meagre 



At one table sit a sculptor, an artist, and a blind 
musician and his wife. The sculptor is slender, deli- 
cate, and nervous, and is continually rolling and 
smoking cigarettes. His blond hair falls in ringlets 


over his collar, and he looks more the poet than the 
sculptor, for he is dreamy and distrait, and seems to 
be looking within himself rather than upon the world 
about him. Augustine serves him with an absinthe 
Pernod au sucre, which he slowly sips while he 
smokes several cigarettes before he is ready for his 

The artist is his opposite, — a big, bluff, hearty fel- 
low, loud of voice and full of life. And he is suc- 



cessful, for he has received a medal and several hon- 
orable mentions at the Salon des Champs-Elysees, 
and has a fine twilight effect in the Luxembourg 


Gallery. After dinner he and M. Darblay play 
piquet for the coffee, and M. Darblay is generally 

The blind musician is a kindly old man with a 
benevolent face and a jovial spirit. He is the head 
professor of music at the Institution des Aveugles, 
on the Boulevard des Invalides. His wife is very 
attentive to him, taking his hat and cane, tucking his 
napkin under his chin, placing the dishes where he 
knows how to find them, and reading the papers to 



him. He knows where everybody sits, and he ad- 
dresses each by name, and passes many brisk sallies 
about the room. 

One poet is vivacious, not at all like the dreamy 
species to which he belongs. True, he wears long 
hair and a Quartier Latin "plug," but his eyes are 
not vague, and he is immensely fond of Madame 
Darblay's beans, of which he has been known to 
stow away five platefuls at a meal. Often he brings 
in a copy of Gil Bias, containing a poem by himself 
in the middle of the page and with illustrations by 

A strange, solitary figure used to sit in one cor- 
ner, speaking to no one, and never ordering more 
than a bowl of chocolate and two sous of bread. It 
was known merely that he was an Hungarian and an 
artist, and from his patched and frayed clothes and 
meagre fare it was surmised that he was poor. But 
he had a wonderful face. Want was plainly stamped 
upon it, but behind it shone a determination and a 
hope that nothing could repress. There was not a 
soul among the boarders but that would have been 
glad to assist in easing whatever burden sat upon 
him, and no doubt it was his suspicion of that fact 
and his dread of its manifestation that made him 
hold absolutely aloof Madame Darblay once or 
twice made efforts to get nearer to him, but he 
gently and firmly repulsed her. He was a pitiable 
figure, but his pride was invincible, and with eyes 
looking straight forward, he held up his head and 
walked like a king. He came and werit as a shadow. 



None knew where he had a room. There were many 
stories and conjectures about him, but he wrapped 
his mantle of mystery and soHtude about him and 
was wholly inaccessible. It was clear to see that he 
lived in another world, — a world of hopes, filled with 
bright images of peace and renown. After a time 
his seat became vacant, and I shall presently tell 
how it happened. 

These will suffice as types of the Maison Darblay, 
though I might mention old M. Decamp, eighty-four 
years of age, and as hearty and jovial a man as one 
would care to see. In his younger days he had been 
an actor, having had a fame during the Empire of 
Napoleon III. And there were a professor ot lan- 
guages, who gave lessons at fifteen sous an hour, a 
journalist of the Figaro, and two pretty milliner girls 
from the shop next door. 

The great event at the Maison Darblay came not 
long ago, when M. Darblay' s two charming daugh- 
ters had a double wedding, each with a comfortable 
dot, for M. Darblay had grown quite rich out of his 
restaurant, owning several new houses. The girls 
were married twice, — once at the Mairie on the Rue 
Gassendi, and again at the Eglise St. Pierre, on the 
Avenue du Maine. Then came the great wedding- 
dinner at the Maison Darblay, to which all the 
boarders were invited. The tables were all con- 
nected, so as to make two long rows. The bridal- 
party were seated at the end next the kitchen, and 
the front door was locked to exclude strangers. M. 
Darblay was elegant in a new dress suit and white 



shirt, but his tailor, in trying to give him a trim 
figure, made the situation embarrassing, as M. Dar- 
blay's girth steadily increased 
during the progress of the 
banquet. He made a very fine 
speech, which was uproariously 
cheered. Madame Darblay 
was remarkably handsome in a 
red satin gown, and bore so 
distinguished an air, and looked 
so transformed from her usual 
kitchen appearance, that we 
could only marvel and admire. 
Then came the kissing of the 
brides, a duty that was per- 
formed most heartily. Ma- 
cuTTiNG ^ Darblay was very happy 
and proud, and her dinner was 
a triumph to have lived for. 

Bishop sat opposite the wicked Mademoiselle 
Brunerye, and he and she made violent love, and 
behaved with conspicuous lack of dignity. M. Fon- 
taine, the orreat, had one of the chic milliners for 
partner. Old M. Decamp told some racy stories 
of the old regime. When the coffee and liqueurs 
came on, the big artist brought out a guitar and the 
poet a mandolin, and we had music. Then the poet 
read a poem that he had written for the occasion. 
The actresses sang their sprightliest songs. Made- 
moiselle Brunerye sang " ^a fait toujours plaisir" to 
Bishop. M. Fontaine gave in a dramatic manner a 





scene from " Les Deux Gosses," the heavy villain 
assisting, the cook's aprons and towels serving to 
make the costumes. Bishop sang " Down on the 


Farm." In short, it was a splendid evening in Bohe- 
mia, of a kind that Bohemians enjoy and know how 
to make the most of. 

There was one silent guest, the strange young 
Hungarian artist. He ate with a ravenous appetite, 
openly and unashamed. After he had had his fill 
(and Madame Darblay saw to it that he found his 

II i6i 


plate always replenished), he smiled occasionally at 
the bright sallies of the other guests, but for the 
most part he sat constrained, and would speak only 
when addressed, — he protested that his French was 
too imperfect. It was so evident that he wished to 
escape notice entirely that no serious effort was 
made to draw him out. 

That was a hard winter. A few weeks after the 
wedding the Hungarian's visits to the Maison Dar- 
blay suddenly ceased. The haunted look had been 
deepening in his eyes, his gaunt cheeks had grown 
thinner, and he looked like a hunted man. After his 
disappearance the gendarmes came to the restaurant 
to make inquiries about him. Bishop and I were 
present. They wanted to know if the young man 
had any friends there. We told them that we would 
be his friends. 

"Then you will take charge of his body?" they 

We followed them to the Rue Perceval, where they 

turned us over to the concierge of an old building. 

She was very glad we had come, as the lad seemed 

not to have had a friend in the world. She led us 

up to the sixth floor, and then pointed to a ladder 

leading up to the roof. We ascended it, and found 

a box built on the roof. It gave a splendid view of 

Paris. The door of the box was closed. We opened 

it, and the young artist lay before us dead. There 

were two articles of furniture in the room. One 

was the bare mattress on the floor, upon which he 

lay, and the other was an old dresser, from which 



some of the drawers were missing. The young man 
lay drawn up, fully dressed, his coat collar turned up 
about his ears. Thus he had fallen asleep, and thus 
hunger and cold had slain him as he slept. There 
was one thing else in the room, all besides, including 
the stove and the bed-covering, having gone for the 
purchase of painting material. It was an unfinished 
oil-painting of the Crucifixion. Had he lived to finish 
it, I am sure it would have made him famous, if for 
nothing else than the wonderful expression of agony 
in the Saviour's face, an agony infinitely worse than 
the physical pain of the crucifixion could have pro- 

There was still one thing more, — a white rat that 
was hunting industriously for food, nibbling desic- 
cated cheese-rinds that it found on the shelves 
against the wall. It had been the artist's one friend 
and companion in life. 

And all that, too, is a part of life in Bohemian 

On the Rue Marie, not far from the Gare Mont- 
parnasse, is the "Club," a small and artistically 
dirty wine-shop and restaurant, patronized by a se- 
lect crowd of musketeers of the brush. The warm, 
dark tones of the anciently papered walls are hidden 
beneath a cloud of oil sketches, charcoal drawings, 
and caricatures of everything and everybody that the 
fancies of the Bohemians could devise. Madame 
Annaie is mistress of the establishment, and her 
cook, M. Annaie, wears his cap rakishly on one side 



and attends to his business ; and he makes very 
good potages and rotis, considering the small prices 
that are charged. Yet even the prices, though the 
main attraction, are paid with difficulty by a majority 
of the habitues, who sometimes fall months in arrears. 
Madame Annaie keeps a big book of accounts. 

Of the members of the club, four are Americans, 
two Spaniards, one an Italian, one a Welshman, 
one a Pole, one a Turk, one a Swiss, and the rest 
French, — just fifteen in all, and all sculptors and 
painters except one of the Americans, who is corre- 
spondent of a New York paper. At seven o'clock 
every evening the roll is called by the Pole, who acts 
as president, secretary, and treasurer of the club. 
A fine of two sous is imposed for every absence ; 
this goes to the "smoker" fund. Joanskouie, the 
multiple officer, has not many burdensome duties, 
but even these few are a severe tax upon his highly 
nervous temperament. Besides collecting the fines 
he must gather up also the dues, which are a franc 
a month. All the members are black-listed, in- 
cluding the president himself, and the names of the 
delinquents are posted on the wall. 

The marble-top tables are black with pencil 
sketches done at the expense of Giles, the Welsh- 
man, who is the butt of the club. He is a very tall 
and amazingly lean Welshman, with a bewhiskered 
face, a hooked nose, and a frightful accent when he 
speaks either English or French. He is an animal 
sculptor, but leaves his art carefully alone. He is 

very clever at drawing horses, dogs, and funny cows 



all over the walls ; but he is so droll and stupid, so 
incredibly stupid, that "Giles" is the byword of the 
club. Every month he receives a remittance of two 
hundred and fifty francs, and immediately starts out 
to get the full worth of it in the kinds of enjoyment 
that he finds on the Boul' Mich', where regularly 
once a month he is a great favorite with the feminine 
habitues of the cafes. When his funds run low, he 
lies perdu till mid-day ; then he appears at Madame 
Annaie's, heavy-eyed and stupid, staying until mid- 
night. Sometimes he varies this routine by visiting 
his friends at their studios, where he is made to pose 
in ridiculous attitudes. 

The "smoker" is held on the last Saturday night 
of each month, and all the members are present. 
Long clay pipes are provided, and a big bowl of steam- 
ing punch, highly seasoned, comes from Madame An- 
naie's kitchen. Mutually laudatory speeches and 
toasts, playing musical instruments, and singing 
songs are in order. The Spaniard, with castanets, 
skilfully executes the fandango on a table. Bishop 
does the danse du ventre. Joncierge gives marvel- 
lous imitations of Sarah Bernhardt and other celeb- 
rities, including Giles, whose drawl and stupidity 
he makes irresistibly funny. Nor do Gerome, Bou- 
guereau, and Benjamin Constant escape his mimicry. 
Haidor, the Turk, drawls a Turkish song all out of 
tune, and is rapturously encored. The Swiss and 
the Italian render a terrific duo from "Aida," and 
the Spaniards sing the " Bullfighters' Song" su- 
perbly. Sketches are dashed off continually. They 



are so clever that it is a pity Madame Annaie has to 
wipe them from the tables. 

On Thanksgiving-day the Americans gave the 
club a Thanksgiving dinner. It was a great mys- 
tery and novelty to the other members, but they en- 
joyed it hugely. The turkeys were found without 
much trouble, but the whole city had to be searched 
for cranberries. At last they were found in a small 
grocery-shop in the American quarter, on the Ave- 
nue Wagram. Bishop superintended the cooking, 
M. Annaie serving as first assistant. How M. 
Annaie stared when he beheld the queer Ameri- 
ican mixtures that Bishop was concocting ! " Mon 
Dieu ! Not sugar with meat !" he cried, aghast, 
seeing Bishop serve the turkey with cranberry 
sauce. A dozen delicious pumpkin-pies that formed 
part of the menu staggered the old cook. The Italian 
cooked a pot of macaroni with mushroom sauce, and 
it was superb. 

"The Hole in the Wall" eminently deserves its 
name. It is on the Boulevard du Montparnasse, 
within two blocks of the Bal BuUier. A small iron 
sign projecting over the door depicts two students 
looking down at the passers-by over bowls of coffee, 
rolls also being shown. It was painted by an Aus- 
trian student in payment of a month's board. 

The Hole is a tiny place, just sufficiently large for 
its two tables and eight stools, fat Madame Morel, 
the proprietress, and a miniature zinc bar filled with 
absinthe and cognac bottles and drinking glasses. 

1 66 


The ceiling is so low that you must bend should you 
be very tall, for overhead is the sleeping-room of 
Madame Morel and her niece ; it is reached by a 
small spiral stair. A narrow slit in the floor against 


the wall, where the napkin-box hangs, leads down to 
the dark little kitchen. It is a tight squeeze for 
Madame Morel to serve her customers, but she has 
infinite patience and geniality, and discharges her 
numerous duties and bears her hardships with unfail- 
ing good-nature. It is no easy task to cook a half- 
dozen orders at once, wait on the tables, run out to 
the butcher-shop for a chop or a steak, and take in 
the cash. But she does all this, and much more, 
having no assistant. The old concierge next door, 
Madame Mariolde, runs in to help her occasionally, 
when she can spare a moment from her own multifa- 
rious duties. Madame Morel's toil-worn hands are 



not bien propre, but she has a kind heart. For 
seven years she has Hved in this Httle Hole, and 
during that time has never been farther away than 
to the grocery-shop on the opposite corner. 

Her niece leaves at seven o'clock in the morning 
to sew all day on the other side of town, returning 
at eight at night, tired and listless, but always with 
a half-sad smile. So we see little of her. Many 
nights I have seen her come in drenched and cold, 
her faded straw hat limp and askew, and her dark 
hair clinging to her wet face. For she has walked 
in the rain all the way from the Avenue de 1' Opera, 
unable to afford omnibus fare. She usually earns 
from two to two and half francs a day, sewing 
twelve hours. 

The most interesting of the frequenters of the 
Hole is a Slav from Trieste, on the Adriatic. He is 
a genius in his way, and full of energy and busi- 
ness sense. His vocation is that of a "lightning- 
sketch artist," performing at the theatres. He has 
travelled all over America and Europe, and is thor- 
oughly hardened to the ways of the world. When- 
ever he runs out of money he goes up to the Rue 
de la Gaiete and gives exhibitions for a week or two 
at one of the theatres there, receiving from fifty to 
sixty francs a week. The students all go to see him, 
and make such a noise and throw so many bouquets 
(which he returns for the next night) that the theat- 
rical managers, thinking he is a great drawing-card, 
generally raise his salary as an inducement to make 
him prolong his stay when he threatens to leave. 



But he is too thoroughly a Bohemian to remain long 
in a place. Last week he suddenly was taken with 
a desire to visit Vienna. Soon after he had gone 
four pretty Parisiennes called and wanted to know 
what had become of their amant. 

D , another of the habitues of the Hole, is a 

German musical student. Strangers would likely 
think him mentally deranged, so odd is his conduct. 
He has two other peculiarities, — ex- 
treme sensitiveness and indefatigable 
industry. He brings his shabby 
violin-case every evening, takes out 
his violin after dinner, and at once 
becomes wholly absorbed in his prac- 
tice. If he would play something 
more sprightly and pleasing the other 
habitues of the Hole would not ob- 
ject ; but he insists on practising the 
dreariest, heaviest, and most wearing 
exercises, the most difficult etudes, 
and the finest compositions of the 
masters. All this is more than the 
others can bear with patience always ; 
so they wound his sensibilities by 
throwing bread and napkin-rings at "^"^ musical stu- 

1 . ^T^, 1 . 11-1 DENT AT " THE HOLE 

hmi. I hen he retires to the kitchen, j^^ ^^^ wall" 

where, sitting on the cooler end of the 

range, he practises diligently under Madame Morel's 

benevolent protection. This is all because he has 

never found a concierge willing to permit him to 

study in his room, so tireless is his industry. If I 



do not mistake, this strange young man will be heard 
from some day. 

Then there is W , a student in sculpture, with 

exceptionally fine talent. He had been an American 
cowboy, and no trooper could swear more eloquently. 
He has been making headway, for the Salon has 
given him honorable mention for a strong bronze 
group of fighting tigers. His social specialty is 
poker-playing, and he has brought the entire Hole 
under the spell of that magic game. 

Herr Prell, from Munich, takes delight in torturing 
the other habitues with accounts of dissections, as he 
is a medical student at the Academie de Medecine. 
The Swede, who drinks fourteen absinthes a day, 
throws stools at Herr Prell, and tries in other ways 
to make him fight ; but Herr Prell only laughs, and 
gives another turn of the dissection-screw. 

The glee club is one of the features of the Hole. 
It sings every night, but its supreme effort comes 
when one of the patrons of the Hole departs for 
home. On such occasions the departing comrade 
has to stand the dinner for all, after which, with its 
speeches and toasts, he is escorted to the railway 
station with great eclat, and given a hearty farewell, 
the glee club singing the parting song at the station. 
Bishop is leading tenor of the glee club. 


IT is only the name of the Cabaret of the Golden 
Sun that suggests the glorious luminary of day. 
And yet it is really brilliant in its 
own queer way, though that brilliancy 
shines when all else in Paris is dark 
and dead, — at night, and in the latest 
hours of the night at that. 

My acquaintance with the Golden 
Sun began one foggy night in a cold 
November, under the guidance of 

Lured by the fascinations of noc- 
turnal life in the Quartier Latin, and 
by its opportunities for the study of 
life in its strangest phases, Bishop 
had become an habitual nighthawk, 
leaving the studio nearly every 
evening about ten o'clock, after 
he had read a few hours from 
treasured books gleaned from 
the stalls along the river, to 
prowl about with a sketch- 
book, in quest of queer char- 
acters and queer places, where strange lives were 

lived in the dark half of the day. His knowledge of 




obscure retreats and their peculiar habitues seemed 
unHmited. And what an infinite study they offer ! 
The tourist, "doing" Bohemian Paris as he would 
the famous art galleries, or Notre-Dame, or the 
Madeleine, or the cafes on the boulevards, may, 
under the guidance of a wise and discerning stu- 
dent, visit one after another of these out-of-the-way 
resorts where the endless tragedy of human life is 
working out its mysteries ; he may see that one 
place is dirtier or noisier than another, that the men 
and women are better dressed and livelier here than 
there, that the crowd is bigger, or the lights brighter ; 
but he cannot see, except in their meaningless outer 
aspects, those subtle differences which constitute the 
heart of the matter. In distance it is not far from 
the Moulin Rouge to the Cabaret du Soleil d'Or, 
but in descending from the dazzling brilliancy and 
frothy abandon of the Red Mill to the smoke and 
grime of the Golden Sun, we drop from the summit 
of the Tour Eiffel to the rat-holes under the bridges 
of the Seine; and yet it is in such as the Cabaret 
of the Golden Sun that the true student finds the 
deeper, the more lastingly charming, the strangely 
saddening spell that lends to the wonderful Quartier 
Latin its distinctive character and everlasting fasci- 

Though Bishop spoke to me very little of his mid- 
night adventures, I being very busy with my own 
work, I began to have grave apprehensions on the 
score of his tastes in that direction ; for during the 

afternoons ridiculous-looking, long-haired, but gentle- 



mannered persons in shabby attire, well-seasoned 
with the aroma of absinthe and cigarettes, would 
favor our studio with a call, undoubtedly at Bishop's 
invitation. They brought with them black portfolios 
or rolls of paper tied with black string, containing 
verses, — their masterpieces, which were to startle 
Paris, or new songs, which, God favoring, were to be 
sung at La Scala or the Ambassadeurs, and thus 
bring them immortal fame and put abundant fat 
upon their lean ribs ! Ah, the deathless hope that 
makes hunger a welcome companion here ! 

Bishop would cleverly entertain these aspiring 
geniuses with shop talk concerning literature and 
music, and he had a charming way of dwelling upon 
the finish and subtlety of their work and comparing 
it with that of the masters. It usually ended with 
their posing for him in different attitudes of his sug- 
gesting. Why waste money on professional models ? 
As Bishop's acquaintances became more numerous 
among this class, we finally set aside Tuesday after- 
noons for their reception. Then they would come 
in generous numbers and enjoy themselves unre- 
servedly with our cognac and biscuits. But ah, the 
rare pleasures of those afternoons, — as much for the 
good it did us to see their thin blood warmed with 
brandy and food as for their delightful entertainment 
of us and one another. 

The studio was warm and cheerful on the night 
when Bishop invited me to accompany him out. I 
had been at work, and presently, when I had finished, 
I flung myself on the divan for a rest and a smoke, 



and then became aware of Bishop's presence. He 
was comfortably ensconced in the steamer-chair, 
propped up with pillows. 

"Aren't you going out to-night?" I inquired. 

"Why, yes. Let's see the time. A little after 
eleven. That's good. You are finished, aren't you ? 
Now, if you want a little recreation and wish to see 
one of the queerest places in Paris, come with me." 

I looked out the window. A cold, dreary night it 
was. The chimney-pots were dimmed by the thick 
mist, and the street lamps shone murkily far below. 
It was a saddening, soaking, dripping night, still, mel- 
ancholy, and depressing, — the kind of night that lends 
a strange zest to in-door enjoyment, as though it were 
a duty to keep the mist and the dreariness out of the 
house and the heart. 

But the studio had worn me out, and I was eager 
to escape from its pleasant coziness. And this was 
a Saturday night, which means something, even in 
Paris. To-morrow there would be rest. So I cheer- 
fully assented. 

We donned our heaviest top-coats and mufflers, 
crammed the stove full of coal, and then sallied out 
into the dripping fog. 

Oh, but it was cold and dismal in the streets ! The 
mist was no longer the obscuring, suggestive, myste- 
rious factor that it had been when seen from the 
window, but was now a tangible and formidable thing, 
with a manifest purpose. It struck through our wraps 
as though they had been cheesecloth. It had swept 
the streets clear, for not a soul was to be seen except 



a couple of sergents de ville, all hooded in capes, and 
a cab that came rattling through the murk with horses 
asteam. Occasionally a flux of warm light from some 
cafe would melt a tunnel througrh the monotonous 
opaque haze, but the empty chairs and tables upon 
the sidewalks facing the cafes offered no invitation. 


In front of one of these cafes, in a sheltered cor- 
ner made by a glass screen, sat a solitary young 
woman, dressed stylishly in black, the light catching 
one of her dainty slippers perched coquettishly upon 



a foot-rest. A large black hat, tilted wickedly down 
over her face, cast her eyes in deep shadow and lent 
her that air of alluring mystery which the women of 
her class know so well how to cultivate. Her neck 
and chin were buried deep in the collar of her seal- 
skin cape. A gleam of limp white gauze at her throat 
lent a pleasing relief to the monotone of her attire. 
Upon the table in front of her stood an empty glass 
and two saucers. As we passed she peered at us 
from beneath her big hat, and smiled coquettishly, 
revealing glistening white teeth. The atmosphere of 
loneliness and desolation that encompassed her gave 
a singularly pathetic character to her vigil. Thus 
she sat, a picture for an artist, a text for a moralist, 
pretty, dainty, abandoned. It happened not to be 
her fortune that her loneHness should be relieved by 
us. , . . But other men might be coming afterwards. 
. . . All this at a glance through the cold November 

As we proceeded up the Boul' Mich' the cafes 
grew more numerous and passers-by more frequent, 
but all these were silent and in a hurry, prodded on 
by the nipping cold fangs of the night. Among the 
tables outside the Cafe d'Harcourt crouched and 
prowled an old man, bundled in ill-fitting rags, 
searching for remnants of cigars and cigarettes on 
the sanded sidewalk. From his glittering eyes, full 
of suspicion, he turned an angry glance upon us as 
we paused a moment to observe him, and growled, — 

" Allons, tu n' peux done pas laisser un pauv' 



Bishop tossed him a sou, which he greedily 
snatched without a word of thanks. 

At the corner, under the gas-lamps, stood shiver- 
ing newspaper venders trying to sell their few re- 
maining copies of la derniere edition 
de la presse. Buyers were scarce. 

We had now reached the Place 
St.-Michel and the left bank of the 
river. We turned 
to the right, fol- 
lowing the river 
wall toward No- 
tre- Dame, whose 
towers were 
not discernible 
through the fog. 
Here there was an 
unbounded wilder- 
ness of desolation 
and solitude. The 
black Seine flowed silently past 
dark masses that were resolved 
into big canal-boats, with their . 
sickly green lights reflected in the 
writhing ink of the river. Notre-Dame now pushed 
its massive bulk through the fog, but its towers 
were lost in the sky. Near by a few dim lights 
shone forth through the slatted windows of the 
Morgue. But its lights never go out. And how 
significantly close to the river it stands ! Peering 
under the arches of the bridges, we found some of 




the social dregs that sleep there with the rats. It 
was not difficult to imagine the pretty girl in black 
whom we had passed coming at last through dissipa- 
tion and wrinkles and broken health to take refuge 
with the rats under the bridges, and it is a short step 
thence to the black waters of the river ; and that 
the scheme of the tragedy might be perfect in all its 
parts, adjustments, and relations, behold the Morgue 
so near, with its lights that never go out, and boatmen 
so skilled in dragging the river ! And the old man 
who was gathering the refuse and waste of smokers, 
it was not impossible that he should find himself 
taking this route when his joints had grown stiffer, 
though it would more likely end under the bridges. 

The streets are very narrow and crooked around 
Notre-Dame, and their emanations are as various as 
the capacity of the human nose for evil odors. The 
lamps, stuck into the walls of the houses, only make 
the terrors of such a night more formidable ; for 
while one may feel a certain security in absolute 
darkness, the shadows to which the lamps lend life 
have a baffling elusiveness and weirdness. and a 
habit of movement that makes one instinctively 
dodge. But that is all the trick of the wind. How- 
ever that may be, it is wonderful how much more 
vividly one remembers on such a night the stories of 
the murders, suicides, and other crimes that lend a 
particular grewsomeness to the vicinity of the Morgue 
and Notre-Dame. 

We again turned to the right, into a narrow, dirty 
street, — the Rue du Haut-Pave, — whose windings 



brought us into a similar street, — the Rue Galande. 
Bishop halted in front of a low arched door-way, 
which blazed sombrely in its coat of blood-red paint. 
A twisted gas-lamp, demoralized and askew, de- 
pended overhead, and upon the glass enclosing it 
was painted, with artistic flourishes, — 

•*Au SoLEiL d'Or." 

This was the cabaret of the Golden Sun, — all un- 
conscious of the mockery of its name, another of 
those whimsical disjointings in which the shadowy 
side of Paris is so prolific. From the interior of the 
luminary came faintly the notes of a song, with piano 

The archway opened into a small court paved 
with ill-fitted flint blocks. At the farther end of it 
another gas-lamp flickered at the head of a flight of 
stairs leading underground. As we approached the 
steps a woman sprang from the shadow, and with a 
cry, half of fear and half of anger, fled to the street. 
At that moment memories of the cosiness of our 
studio became doubly enticing, — one cannot always 
approach unfamiliar underground Paris with perfect 
courage. But Bishop's coolness was reassuring. 
He had already descended the steps, and there was 
nothing left for me but to follow. 

At the foot of the stairs were half-glass doors cur- 
tained with cheap red cloth. A warm, thick, suffo- 
cating gust of air, heavy with the fumes of beer, 
wine, and tobacco, assailed our cold faces as we 

pushed open the doors and entered the room. 



For a moment it was difficult to see clearly, so 
dense was the smoke. It was packed against the 
ceiling like a bank of fog, diminishing in density 
downward, and shot through with long banner-like 
streamers of smoke freshly emitted. 

The human atmosphere of the place could not be 
caught at once, A stranger would not have known 
for the moment whether he was with thieves or artists. 
But very soon its distinctive spirit made its presence 
and character manifest. The room — which was not 
a large one — was well filled with an assortment of 
those queer and interesting people some of whom 
Bishop had entertained at the studio, only here their 
characteristics were more pronounced, for they were 
in their natural element, depressed and hampered by 
no constraints except of their own devising. A great 
many were women, although it could be seen at a 
glance that they were not of the nymphs who flitted 
among the glittering cafes, gowned in delicate laces 
and sheeny sculptured silks, the essence of migno- 
nette pervading their environment. No ; these were 

Here one finds, not the student life of Paris, but 
its most unconventional Bohemian life. Here, in 
this underground rendezvous, a dirty old hole about 
twenty feet below the street level, gather nightly the 
happy-go-lucky poets, musicians, and singers for 
whom the great busy world has no use, and who, in 
their unrelaxing poverty, live in the tobacco clouds 
of their own construction, caring nothing for social 
canons, obeyers of the civil law because of their 

1 80 


scorn of meanness, injustice, and crime, suffering un- 
ceasingly for the poorest comforts of life, ambitious 
without energy, hopeful without effort, cheerful under 
the direst pressure of need, kindly, simple, proud, 
and pitiful. 

All were seated at little round tables, as are the 
habitues of the cafes, and their attention was directed 
upon a slim young fellow with curling yellow hair 
and a faint moustache, who was singing, leaning mean- 
while upon a piano that stood on a low platform in 
one corner of the room. Their attention was respect- 
ful, delicate, sympathetic, and, as might be supposed, 
brought out the best in the lad. It was evident that 
he had not long been a member of the sacred circle. 
His voice was a smooth, velvety tenor, and under 
proper instruction might have been useful to its pos- 
sessor as a means of earning a livelihood. But it 
was clear that he had already fallen under the spell 
of the associations to which accident or his inclina- 
tion had brought him ; and this meant that hence- 
forth he would live in this strange no-world of dreams, 
hopes, sufferings, and idleness, and that likely he 
would in time come to gather cigar-stumps on the 
sanded pavement of the Cafe d'Harcourt, and after 
that sleep with the rats under the bridges of the 
Seine. At this moment, however, he lived in the 
clouds ; he breathed and glowed with the spirit of 
shiftless, proud, starving Bohemianism as it is lived 
in Paris, benignantly disdainful of the great moiling, 
money-grubbing world that roared around him, and 
perhaps already the adoration of some girl of poetic 



or artistic tastes and aspirations, who was serving 
him as only the Church gives a woman the right. 

There was time to look about while he was sing- 
ing, though that was difficult, so strange and pathetic 
a picture he made. The walls of the room were 
dirty and bare, though relieved at rare intervals by 
sketches and signs. The light came from three gas- 
burners, and was reflected by a long mirror at one 
end of the room. 

No attention had been paid to our entrance, ex- 
cept by the gargon, a heavy-set, bull-necked fellow, 
who, with a sign, bade us make no noise. 

When the song had finished the audience broke 
into uproarious applause, shouting, " Bravo, mon 
vieux I" " Bien fait, Marquis!" and the clapping 
of hands and beating of glasses on the marble-topped 
tables and pounding of canes on the floor made a 
mighty din. The young singer, his cheeks glowing 
and his eyes blazing, modestly rolled up his music 
and sought his seat. 

We were now piloted to seats by the gargon, who, 
when we had settled ourselves, demanded to know 
what we would drink. " Deux bocks !" he yelled 
across the room. " Deux bocks !" came echoing 
back from the counter, where a fat woman presided — 

Several long-haired litterateurs — friends of Bishop's 
— came up and saluted him and shook his hand, all 
with a certain elegance and dignity. He, in turn, in- 
troduced me, and the conversation at once turned to 
art, music, and poetry. Whatever the sensational 


news of the day, whatever the crisis in the cabinet, 
whatever anything might have been that was stirring 
the people in the great outside commonplace world, 
these men and women gave it no heed whatever. 
What was the gross, hard, eager world to them? 
Did not the glories of the Golden Sun lend sufficient 
warmth to their hearts, and were not their vague 
aspirations and idle hopes ample stimulants to their 
minds and spirits ? They quickly found a responsive 
mood in us, and this so delighted them that they 
ordered the drinks. 

The presiding genius at the piano was a white- 
haired, spiritual-looking man, whose snowy locks 
gave the only indication of his age ; for his face was 
filled with the eternal youthfulness of a careless and 
contented heart. His slender, delicate fingers told 
of his temperament, his thin cheeks of his poverty, 
and his splendid dreamy eyes of the separate life 
that he lived. 

Standing on the platform beside him was a man 
of a very different type. It was the pianist's func- 
tion to be merely a musician ; but the other man — 
the musical director — was one from whom judgment, 
decision, and authority were required. Therefore he 
was large, powerful, and big-stomached, and had a 
pumpkin head, and fat, baggy eyes that shone through 
narrow slits. He now stepped forward and rang a 
little bell, upon which all talking was instantly 

" Mesdames et messieurs," he said, in a large, 
capable voice, " J'ai I'honneur de vous annoncer 



que Madame Louise Leroux, nous lira ses dernieres 
oeuvres — une faveur que nous apprecierons tous." 

A young woman — about twenty-three, I should 
judge — arose from one of the tables where she had 
. / been sitting talking with an insipid- 

u& .:4 looking gentleman adorned with a 
sjj/jj} \f blond moustache and vacant, staring 
eyes ; he wore a heavy coat trimmed 
; with astrachan collar and 

cuffs, which, being open 
at the throat, revealed 
the absence of a shirt 
from his body. A Latin 
Quarter top-hat was 
pushed back on his head, 
and his long, greasy hair 
hung down over his col- 
lar. Madame Leroux 
smiled affectionately at 
him as she daintily 
flicked the ashes from 
her cigfarette and laid it 
upon the table, and 
moistened her thin red 
lips with a yellow liqueur from her glass. He re- 
sponded with a condescending jerk of his head, and, 
diving into one of the inner pockets of his coat, 
brought forth a roll of paper, which she took. A 
great clapping of hands and loud cries of her name 
greeted her as she stepped upon the platform, 
but it was clearly to be seen from her indifferent 

1 86 



air that she had been long accustomed to this atten- 

The big musical director again rang his bell. 

"II etait une Fois," she said, simply. The pianist 
fingered the keys softly, and she began to recite. 

The room was as still as 
a chapel. Every one lis- 
tened in profound ab- 
sorption ; even the stolid 
bull-necked waiter leaned 
against the wall, his gaze 
fastened upon her with re- 
spectful interest. She 
spoke slowly, in a low, 
sweet tone, the soft ac- 
companiment of the piano 
following the rhythm of 
her voice with wonderful 
effectiveness. She seemed 
to forget her surroundings, 
— the hot, close room, 
crowded with shabby, ec- 
centric o-eniuses who lived 
from hand to mouth, the 
poverty that evidently was 

her lot, — even her lover, who sat watching her with 
a cold, critical, half-disdainful air, making notes upon 
a slip of paper, now nodding his head approvingly, 
now frowning, when pleased or displeased with her 
performance. She was a rare picture as she thus 
stood and recited, a charming swing to her trim fig- 





ure, half reclining upon the piano, her black hair fall- 
ing loosely and caressing her forehead and casting 
her dark eyes in deeper shadow, and all her soul 
going forth in the low, soft, subdued passion of her 
verses. She reminded one greatly of Bernhardt, 
and might have been as great. 

During her whole rendering of this beautiful and 
pathetic tale of "other times" she scarcely moved, 
save for some slight gesture that suggested worlds. 
How well the lines suited her own history and con- 
dition only she could have told. Who was she ? 
What had she been ? Surely this strange woman, 
hardly more than a mere girl, capable of such feel- 
ings and of rendering them with so subtle force and 
beauty, had lived another life, — no one knew, no one 

Loud shouts of admiration and long applause rang 
through the room as she slowly and with infinite ten- 
derness uttered the last line with bowed head and a 
choking voice. She stood for a moment while the 
room thundered, and then the noise seemed to recall 
her, to drag her back from some haunting memory 
to the squalor of her present condition, and then her 
eyes eagerly sought the gentleman of the fur-collared 
coat. It was an anxious glance that she cast upon 
him. He carelessly nodded once or twice, and she 
instantly became transfigured. The melancholy of 
her eyes and the wretched dejection of her pose dis- 
appeared, and her sad face lit up with a beaming, 
happy smile. She was starting to return to him, all 
the woman in her awaking to affection and a yearn- 


ing for the refuge of his love, when the vociferous 
cries of the crowd for an encore, and the waving of 
her lover's hand as a signal for her to comply, sent 
her back on guard to the piano again. Her smile 
was very sweet and her voice full of trippling melody 
when she now recited a gay little ballad, — also her 
own composition, — "Amours Joyeux," — in so en- 
tirely different a spirit that it was almost impos- 
sible to believe her the same mortal. Every fibre 
of her being participated in the rollicking abandon 
of the piece, and her eyes were flooded with the 
mellow radiance of supreme love satisfied and vic- 

Upon regaining her seat she was immediately sur- 
rounded by a praise-giving crowd, who shook hands 
with her and heartily congratulated her ; but it was 
clear that she could think only of him of the fur col- 
lar, and that no word of praise or blame would weigh 
with her the smallest fraction of a feather's weight 
unless this one man uttered it. She disengaged her 
hand from her crowding admirers and deftly donned 
her little white Alpine hat, all the while looking into 
the face of the one man who could break her heart 
or send her to heaven. He sat looking at his boot, 
indifferent, bored. Presently he looked up into her 
anxious eyes, gazed at her a moment, and then 
leaned forward and spoke a word. It sent her to 
heaven. Her face all aglow and her eyes shining 
with happiness, she called the gargon, paid for the 
four saucers upon the table, and left the room upon 
the arm of her lover. 


" How she does adore that dog !" exclaimed my 
friend the musician. 

" What does he do ?" I asked. 

" Do ?" he echoed. " Nothing. It is she who 
does all. Without her he would starve. He is a 
writer of some ability, but too much of a socialist to 
work seriously. In her eyes he is the greatest writer 
in the world. She would sacrifice everything to 
please him. Without him her life would fall into a 
complete blank, and her recklessness would quickly 
send her into the lowermost ranks. When a woman 
like that loves, she loves — ah, les femmes sont diffi- 
ciles a comprendre !" My friend sighed, burying his 
moustaches in a foaming bock. 

Individual definition grew clearer as I became 
more and more accustomed to the place and its 
habitues. It seemed that nearly all of them were 
absinthe-drinkers, and that they drank a great deal, — 
all they could get, I was made to understand. They 
care little about their dress and the other accessories 
of their personal appearance, though here and there 
they exhibit the oddest finery, into whose possession 
they fall by means which casual investigation could 
not discover, and which is singularly out of harmony 
with the other articles of their attire and with the en- 
vironment which they choose. As a rule, the men 
wear their hair very long and in heavy, shaggy 
masses over their ears and faces. They continually 
roll and smoke cigarettes, though there are many 
pipes, and big ones at that. But though they con- 
stitute a strange crowd, there is about them a distinct 



air of refinement, a certain dignity and pride that 
never fail, and withal a gentleness that renders any 
approach to ruffianism impossible. The women take 
a little more pride in their appearance than the men. 
Even in their carelessness and seeming indifference 
there abides with nearly all of them the power to 
lend themselves some single touch of grace that is 
wonderfully redeeming, and that is infinitely finer 
and more elusive than the showy daintiness of the 
women of the cafes. 

As a rule, these Bohemians all sleep during the 
day, as that is the best way to keep warm ; at night 
they can find warmth in the cabarets. In the after- 
noon they may write a few lines, which they sell in 
some way for a pittance, wherewithal to buy them a 
meal and a night's vigil in one of these resorts. 
This is the life of lower Bohemia plain and simple, — 
not the life of the students, but of the misfit geniuses 
who drift, who have neither place nor part in the 
world, who live from hand to mouth, and who shud- 
der when the Morgue is mentioned, — and it is so 
near, and its lights never go out ! They are merely 
protestants against the formalism of life, rebels 
against its necessities. They seek no following, 
they desire to exercise no influence. They lead 
their vacant lives without the slightest restraint, bear 
their poverty without a murmur, and go to their 
dreary end without a sigh. These are the true 
Bohemians of Paris. 

Other visitors came into the Soleil d'Or and sought 
seats among their friends at the tables, while others 



kept leaving, bound for other rendezvous, many 
staying just sufficiently long to hear a song or two. 
They were all of the same class, very negligently 
and poorly attired, some displaying their odd pieces 
of finery with an exquisite assumption of unconscious- 
ness on its account, as though they were millionaires 
and cared nothing for such trivial things. And the 
whimsical incongruities of it ! If one wore a shininor 
tile he either had no shirt (or perhaps a very badly 
soiled one), or wore a frayed coat and disreputable 
shoes. In fact, no complete respectable dress made 
its appearance in the room that night, though each 
visitor had his distinctive specialty, — one a burnished 
top hat, another a gorgeous cravat, another a rich 
velvet jacket, and so on. But they all wore their 
hair as long as it would grow. That is the Bohemian 

The little bell again rang, and the heavy director 
announced that " Monsieur Leon Decarmeau will 
sing one of his newest songs." Monsieur Leon De- 
carmeau was a lean, half-starved appearing man of 
about forty, whose eyes were sunk deep in his head, 
and whose sharp cheek-bones protruded prominently. 
On the bridge of his thin, angular nose set a pair of 
"pince-nez," attached by a broad black cord, which 
he kept fingering nervously as he sang. His song 
was entitled " Fleurs et Pensees," and he threw him- 
self into it with a broad and passionate eagerness 
that heavily strained the barrier between melodrama 
and burlesque. His glance sought the ceiling in a 

frenzied quest of imaginary nymphs, his arms swayed 



as he tenderly caressed imaginary flowers of sweet 
love and drank in their intoxicating perfume instead 
of the hot, tobacco-rife smoke of the room. His 
voice was drawn out in tremendous sighs full of 
tears, and his chest heaved like a blacksmith's bel- 
lows. But when he had ceased he was most gener- 
ously applauded and praised. 

During the intervals between the songs and reci- 
tations the room was noisy with laughter, talking, 
and the clinking of glasses. The one gargon was 
industriously serving boissons and yelling orders to 
the bar, where the fat woman sat industriously knit- 
ting, heedless, as might have been expected of the 
keeper of the Cave of Adullam, and awakening to 
activity only w^hen the stentorian yells of the gargon's 
orders rose above the din of the establishment. 
Absinthe and beer formed the principal beverages, 
though, as a rule, absinthe was taken only just be- 
fore a meal, and then it served as an appetizer, — a 
sharpener of hunger to these who had so little 
wherewithal to satisfy the hunger that unaided 
nature created ! 

The mystery of the means by which these light- 
hearted Bohemians sustained their precarious exist- 
ence was not revealed to me ; yet here they sat, and 
laughed, and talked, and recited the poetry of their 
own manufacture, and sang their songs, and drank, 
and smoked their big pipes, and rolled cigarettes in- 
cessantly, happy enough in the hour of their lives, 
bringing hither none of the pains and pangs and 
numbing evidences of their struggles. And there 

13 »93 


was no touch of the sordid in the composite picture 
that they made, and a certain tinge of intellectual 
refinement, a certain spirituality that seemed to raise 
them infinitely above the plane of the lowly strugglers 
who won their honest bread by honest labor, shone 
about them as a halo. 

Their dark hours, no doubt, came wdth the day- 
light, and in these meetings at the cabaret they found 
an agreeable way in which to while away the dismal 
interval that burdened their lives when they were not 
asleep ; for the cabaret was warm and bright, warmer 
and brighter than their own wretched little rooms au 
cinquieme, — and coal and candles are expensive 
luxuries ! Here, if their productions haply could not 
find a larger and more remunerative audience, they 
could at least be heard, — by a few, it is true, but a 
most appreciative few, and that is something of value 
equal to bread. And then, who could tell but what 
fame might unexpectedly crown them in the end ? 
It has happened thus. 

"But why worry ?" asked the musician. " ' Laugh, 
and the world laughs with you. If we do not live a 
long life, it is at least a jolly one,' is our motto ;" 
and certainly they gave it most faithful allegiance. 

I learned from Bishop that the musical director re- 
ceived three francs a night for his services. Should 
singers happen to be lacking, or should the evening 
be dull for other reason, he himself must sing and re- 
cite ; for the tension of the Soleil d'Or must be kept 
forever taut. The old white-haired pianist received 

two francs a night, and each of these contributors to 



the gayety of the place was given a drink gratis. So 
there was at least some recompense besides the 
essential one of appreciation from the audience. 

Glasses clinked merrily, and poets and composers 
flitted about the room to chat with their contem- 
poraries. A sketch artist, deftly drawing the por- 
trait of a baritone's jolly little mistress, was sur- 
rounded by a bantering group, that passed keen, 
intelligent, and good natured criticism on the work 
as it rapidly grew under his hands. The white- 
haired pianist sat puffing at his cigarette and looking 
over some music with a rather pretty young woman" 
who had written popular songs of La Villette. 

The opening of the doors and the straggling en- 
trance of three men sent an instant hush throughout 
the room. 

" Verlaine !" whispered the musician to me. 

It was indeed the great poet of the slums, — the 
epitome and idol of Bohemian Paris, the famous man 
whose verses had rung throughout the length and 
breadth of the city, the one man who, knowing the 
heart and soul of the strugglers who found light and 
warmth in such places as the Soleil d'Or, had the 
brains and grace to set the strange picture adequately 
before the wondering world. 

The musical director, as well as a number of others 
in the place, stepped forward, and with touching def- 
erence and tenderness greeted the remarkable man 
and his two companions. It was easy to pick out 
Verlaine without relying upon the special distinction 
with which he was greeted. He had the oddest 



slanting eyes, a small, stubby nose, and wiry whiskers, 
and his massive forehead heavily overhung his queerly 
shaped eyes. He was all muffled up to the chin ; 
wore a badly soiled hat and a shabby dark coat. 
Under one arm he carried a small black portfolio. 
Several of the women ran to him and 
kissed him on both cheeks, which 
salutations he heartily returned, with 

One of his companions was Mon- 
sieur Bi-Bi-dans-la-Puree — so he was 
called, though seemingly he might 
have been in anything as well as 
soup. He was an exceedingly inter- 
esting figure. His sunken, drawn, 
smooth-shaven face gave terrible evi- 
dence of the excessive use of ab- 
sinthe. A large hooked nose over- 
shadowed a wide, loose mouth that 
hung down at the corners, and served 
to set forth in startling relief the 
sickly leaden color of his face. When he spoke, a 
few straggling teeth gleamed unpleasantly. He wore 
no overcoat, and his jacket hung open, disclosing a 
half-opened shirt that exposed his bare breast. His 
frayed trousers dragged the ground at his heels. 
But his eyes were the most terrible part of him ; 
they shone with the wild, restless light of a madman, 
and their gaze was generally flitting and distrait, ac- 
knowledging no acquaintances. Afterwards, when 

Verlaine was dead, I often saw Monsieur Bi-Bi-dans- 




la-Puree on the street, looking most desolate, a roll 
of white manuscript in his hand, his coat and shirt 
wide open, exposing his naked breast to the biting 
cold wind. He seemed to be living altogether in 
another world, and gazed about him with the same 
unseeing vacant stare that so startled me that night 
in the Soleil d'Or. 

When Verlaine and his companions were seated — 
by displacing the artist — the recitations and songs 
recommenced ; and it was noticeable that they were 
rendered with augmented spirit, that the famous poet 
of the slums might be duly impressed with the capa- 
bilities and hospitable intentions of his entertainers ; 
for now all performed for Verlaine, not for one an- 
other. The distinguished visitor had removed his 
slouch hat, revealing the wonderful oblong dome of 
his bald head, which shone like the Soleil d'Or; and 
many were the kisses reverently and affectionately 
bestowed upon that glistening eminence by the poet's 
numerous female admirers in the throng. 

A reckless-looking young woman, with a black hat 
drawn down over her eyes, and wearing glasses, was 
now reciting. Her hands were gloved in black, but 
the finger-tips were worn through, — a fact which she 
made all the more evident by a peculiar gesture of 
the fingers. 

As the small hours grew larger these gay Bohe- 
mians waxed gayer and livelier. Formalities were 
gradually abandoned, and the constraint of dignity 
and reserve slowly melted under the mellowing in- 
fluences of the place. Ceremonious observances 



were dropped one by one ; and whereas there had 
been the most respectful and insistent silence 
throughout the songs, now all joined heartily in the 
choruses, making the dim lights dance in the exuber- 
ance of the enjoyment. I had earnestly hoped that 
Verlaine, splendid as was his dignity, might thaw 
under the gathering warmth of the hour, but beyond 
listening respectfully, applauding moderately, and 
returning the greetings that were given him, he held 
aloof from the influence of the occasion, and after 
draining his glass and bidding good-night to his 
many friends, with his two companions he made off 
to another rendezvous. 

Monsieur le Directeur came over to our table and 
asked Bishop to favor the audience with a " chan- 
son Americaine." This rather staggered my modest 
friend, but he finally yielded to entreaties. The di- 
rector rang his little bell again and announced that 
" Monsieur Beeshup" would sing a song a TAmeri- 
caine. This was received with uproarious shouts 
by all, and several left their seats and escorted 
Bishop to the platform. I wondered what on earth 
he would sing. The accompanist, after a little coach- 
ing from Bishop, assailed the chords, and Bishop 
began drawling out his old favorite, " Down on the 
Farm." He did it nobly, too, giving the accompanist 
occasion for labor in finding the more difficult harmo- 
nies. The hearers, though they did not understand 
a word of the ditty, and therefore lost the whole 
of its pathos, nevertheless listened with curious in- 
terest and respect, though with evident veiled amuse- 



ment. Many quick ears caught the refrain. At first 
there came an exceedingly soft chorus from the 
room, and it gradually rose until the whole crowd 
had thrown itself into the spirit of the melody, and 
swelled it to a mighty volume. Bishop led the 
singers, beating time with his right arm, his left 
thumb meanwhile hooked in the arm-hole of his 
waistcoat. " Bravo ! Bravo, Beeshup ! Bis !" they 
yelled, when it was finished, and then the room rang 
with a salvo of hand-clappings in unison : 1-2-3-4 

-5— 1-2-3-4-5— 1-2-3-4-5— I— 2— 3!! A great 
ovation greeted him as he marched with glowing 
cheeks to his seat, and those who knew him crowded 
round him for a hand-shake. The musician asked 
him if he would sing the song in private for him, 
that he might write down the melody, to which Bishop 
agreed, on condition that the musician pose for him. 
Bishop had a singularly sharp eye for opportunities. 
The sketch artist sauntered over and sat down at 
our table to have a chat with Bishop. He was a sin- 
gular fellow. His manner was smoothed by a fine 
and delicate courtesy, bespeaking a careful rearing, 
whose effects his loose life and promiscuous associa- 
tions could not obliterate. His age was about thirty- 
two, though he looked much older, — this being due 
in part to his hard life and in other part to the heavy 
whiskers that he wore. An absurd little round felt 
hat sat precariously on his riotous mane, and I was 
in constant apprehension lest it should fall off every 
time he shook his head. Over his shoulders was a 
blue cape covering a once white shirt that was de- 



void of a collar. His fingers were all black with 
the crayon that he had used in sketching. He said 
that he had already earned twelve sous that evening, 


making portraits at six sous a head ! But there was 
not so much money to be made in a place like this 
as in the big cafes, — the frequenters were too poor. 
I asked him where he had studied and learned his 
art, for it could be easily seen that he had had some 
training ; his portraits were not half bad, and showed 


a knowledge of drawing. He thereupon told me 
his story. 

He had come to Paris thirteen years before from 
Nantes, Brittany, to study art. His father kept a 
small grocery and provision-shop in Nantes, and 
lived in meagre circumstances. The son having dis- 
covered what his father deemed a remarkable talent 
for drawing when a boy, the father sent him to Paris, 
with an allowance of a hundred francs a month, and 
he had to deny himself severely to furnish it. When 
the young man arrived at Paris he studied diligently 
at the Ecole des Beaux- Arts for a while, and became 
acquainted with many of the students and models. 
He soon found the easy life of the cafes, with the 
models for companions, more fascinating than the 
dull grind of the school. It was much pleasanter to 
enjoy the gayety of the nights and sleep all day than 
drone and labor at his easel. As his small allowance 
did not permit of extravagance, he fell deeply into 
debt, and gave more heed to absinthe than his meals, 
— it is cheaper, more alluring, and brings an exhila- 
ration that sharpens wit and equips the soul with 

For a whole year the father was in total ignorance 
of his son's conduct, but one day a friend, who had 
seen the young man in Paris, laid the ugly story in 
his father's ear. This so enraged the father that he 
instantly stopped the remittances and disowned his 
son. All appeals for money, all promises to reform, 
were in vain, and so the young madcap was forced to 
look about for a means of subsistence. And thus it 


was that he drifted into the occupation of a sketch 
artist, making portraits in the cafes all night and 
sleeping in daytime. This brought him a scant 

But there was his mistress, Marcelle, always faith- 
ful to him. She worked during the day at sewing, 
and shared her small earnings with him. All went 
fairly well during the summer, but in winter the days 
were short, Marcelle' s earnings were reduced, and 
the weather was bitter cold. Still, it was not so 
bad as it might be, he protested ; but underneath 
his easy flippancy I imagined I caught a shadow, — 
a flitting sense of the hollowness and misery and 
hopelessness and shame of it all. But I am not 
certain of that. He had but gone the way of many 
and many another, and others now are following in 
his footsteps, deluding self-denying parents, and set- 
ting foot in the road which, so broad and shining at 
the beginning, narrows and darkens as it leads nearer 
and nearer to the rat-holes under the bridges of the 
Seine, and to the grim house whose lights forever 
shine at night under the shadow of Notre- Dame. 

Had monsieur a cigarette to spare? Monsieur 
had, and monsieur thought that the thanks for it were 
out of all proportion to its value ; but they were to- 
tally eclipsed by the praises of monsieur's wonderful 
generosity in paying for a glass of absinthe and sugar 
for the man who made faces at six sous apiece. 

The quiet but none the less high tension of the 
place, the noise of the singing, the rattling of glasses 
and saucers, the stifling foul air of the room, filled 


me with weariness and threatened me with nausea. 
Things had moved in a constant whirl all night, and 
now it was nearly four o'clock. How much longer 
will this last ? 

"Till five o'clock," answered the musician ; then 
all the lights go out, and the place is closed ; and our 
friends seek their cold, cheerless rooms, to sleep far 
into the afternoon. 

We paid for our saucers, and after parting adieux 
left in company with the musician and the aesthetic 
poet. How deliciously sharp and refreshing was the 
cold, biting air as we stepped out into the night ! It 
seemed as though I had been breathing molasses. 
The fog was thicker than ever, and the night was 
colder. The two twisted gas-lamps were no longer 
burning as we crossed the slippery stone-paved court 
and ascended to the narrow street. The musician 
wrapped a gray muffler about his throat and thrust 
his hands deep into his pockets. The poet had no 
top-coat, but he buttoned his thin jacket tightly about 
him, and shivered. 

" Shall we have some lait chaud and a croissant?" 
inquired the musician. 

Yes, anything hot would be good, even milk ; but 
where could we get it ? 

"Ah, you shall see !" 

We had not gone far when it gave me a start to 
recognize a figure that we had seen in the Boul' 
Mich' on our way to the Soleil d'Or. It was that of 
an outcast of the boulevards, now slinking through 

the shadows toward the river. We had been ac- 



costed by him in front of one of the brilHant cafes, 
as, trembhng and rubbing his hands, a picture of 

hopeless dejection and 
misery, and in a quaver- 
ing voice he begged us 


to buy him a drink of brandy. It probably saved 
him from an attack of delirium tremens that night, 



but here he was drifting, with a singular fataHty, 
toward the river and the Morgue. Now, that his 
day's work of begging was done, all his jackal 
watchfulness had disappeared, and an inner vision 
seemed to look forth from his bleared eyes as their 
gaze strained straight and dull toward the black 
river. It may have been a mere fancy, but the ex- 
pression in his eyes reminded me strongly of similar 
things that I had seen on the slabs in the Morgue. 

We crossed the Rue du Haut-Pave again to the 
river wall, and arrived at the bridge leading back of 
Notre-Dame and past the Morgue. On the farther 
end of the bridge, propped against the parapet, was 
a small stand, upon a corner of which a dim lamp 
was burning. In front were a number of milk-cans, 
and on a small counter were a row of thick white 
bowls and a basket of croissants. Inside, upon a 
small stove, red with heat, were two kettles from 
which issued clouds of steam bearing an odor of boil- 
ing milk. A stout woman, her face so well wrapped 
in a shawl that only the end of her red nose was visi- 
ble, greeted us, — 

" Bon jour, messieurs. En voulez-vous du bon 
lait bien chaud?" 

She poured out four bowls of steaming milk, and 
gave us each a roll. For this luxury we paid three 
sous each ; and a feast it was, for the shivering poet, 
at least, for he licked the hot bowl clean and ate the 
very crumbs of his croissant. 

As we were bound for widely separated quar- 
ters, our Bohemian friends bade us an affectionate 



good-night, and were soon swallowed up in the 
gloom. We turned towards home and the Boul' 
Mich'. All the cafes were closed and dark, but 
the boulevard was alive with canal-boatmen, street- 
sweepers, and rumbling vegetable- and milk-carts. 
The streets were being washed clean of all evi- 
dences of the previous day's life and turmoil, and 
the great city was creeping forth from its lair to 
begin another. 



IN the short, busy Httle street, the Rue de I'An- 
cienne-Comedie, which runs from the Boulevard 
St. Germain, in a Hne from the Theatre National 
de rOd^on and connecting with the Rue Mazarin, 
its continuation, the heavy dome of the Institut loom- 
ing at its end, is to be found probably the most 
famous cafe in Paris, for in its day it has been the 
rendezvous of the most noted French litterateurs, 
politicians, and savants. What is more, the Procope 
was the first cafe established in Paris, originating the 
appellation "cafe" to a place where coffee is served, 
for it was here that coffee was introduced to France 
as an after-dinner comforter. 

That was when the famous cafe was in its glory. • 
Some of the great celebrities who made it famous 
have been dead for nearly two hundred years, though 
its greatest fame came a century afterwards ; and now 
the cafe, no longer glorious as it was when the old 
Theatre Frangais stood opposite, reposes in a quiet 
street far from the noise and glitter and life of the 
boulevards, and lives on the splendid memories that 
crowd it. Other cafes by the thousand have sprung 
into existence, and the word has spread to coffee sa- 
loons and restaurants throughout Christendom ; and 

the ancient rive droite nurses the history and relics 



of the golden days of its glory, alone in a quiet 
street, surrounded by tightly shut shops, and the 
calm of a sleeping village. 

Still, it retains many of its ancient characteristics 
and much of the old-time quaintness peculiar to itself 
and setting it wholly apart, and it is yet the rendez- 
vous of litterateurs and artists, who, if not so famous 
as the great men in whose seats they sit, play a con- 
siderable role in the life of modern Paris. 

The front of the cafe is a neat little terrace off the 
street, screened by a fanciful net-work of vines and 
shrubbery that spring from green painted boxes and 
that conceal cosey little tables and corners placed 
behind them. Instead of the usual showy plate- 
windows, one still finds the quaint old window-panes, 
very small carreaux, kept highly polished by the tire- 
less gar^on apprentice. 

Tacked to the white pillars are numerous copies 
of Le Procope, a weekly journal published by Theo, 
the proprietor of the cafe. Its contributors are the 
authors, journalists, and poets who frequent the cafe, 
and it publishes a number of portraits besides, and 
some spirited drawings. It is devoted in part to 
the history of the cafe and of the celebrities who 
have made it famous, and publishes portraits of them, 
from Voltaire to Paul Verlaine. This same journal 
was published here over two hundred years ago, in 
1689, and it was the means then by which the patrons 
of the establishment kept in closer touch with their 
contemporaries and the spirit of the time. Theo is 

proprietor and business manager, as well as editor. 



The following two poems will give an idea of the 
grace of the matter contained in Le Procope : 


Au loin, quand, I'oeil reveur et d'ennuis Tame pleine, 
Je suivrai sur les flots le vol des alcyons 
Chaque soir surgira dans les derniers rayons 
Le profil triste et doux d' Ida, de ma sirene. 

La figure et de lys et d'iris transparente, 
Ressortira plus blanche en 1' ombre des cheveux 
Profonds comme un mystere et troublants et mes yeux 
Boiront dans 1' Ideal sa caresse enivrante. 

Et je rechercherai I'enigme du sourire 

Railleur ou de pitie qui luisait dans ses yeux 

En des paillettes d'or sous ses beaux cils ombreux. . . . 

Et je retomberai dans la tristesse . . . et dire 
Qu'un seul mot me rendrait et la vie et I'espoir: 
Belle, mon rendez-vous n'est-il point pour ce soir? 

I. Birr. 


Je suis seul dans la grande ville 
Ou nul n'a fete mon retour, 
Coeur vide, et cerveau qui vacille, 
Sans projet, sans but, sans amour 
Je suis seul dans la grande ville. 

Le dos voCite, les bras ballants, 
Je marche au hasard dans la foule 
A longs pas lourds et nonchalants. 
On me pousse, heurte, refoule, 
Le dos voQte, les bras ballants. 


Je suis accable de silence, 

De ce silence interieur, 

Tel iin brouillard subtil et dense, 

Qui tombe a plis lourds sur le coeur, 

Je suis accable de silence. 

Ah ! quand viendront les jours heureux, 

Quand viendra la chere attendue 

Qu'espere mon coeur amoureux, 

Qu' implore mon ame eperdue, 

Ah ! quand viendront les jours heureux ! 


Here is a particularly charming little poem, written 
in the musical French of two or three centuries ago : 


Sur vostre levre fraiche et rose, 
Ma mye, ah ! laissiez-moi poser 
Cette tant bonne et doulce chose, 
Un bayser. 

Telle una fleur au jour 6close, 
le vols vostre teint se roser ; 
Si ie vous redonnois, — ie n'ose, 
Un bayser. 

Laissiez-moi vous prendre, inhumaine, 
A chascun iour de la sepmaine 
Un bayser. 

Trop tot viendront vieil aage et peine ! 
Lors n'aurez plus, feussiez-vous reine, 
Un bayser. 

Maistre Guillaume. 


The modern gas illumination of the cafe, in con- 
trast to the fashion of brilliant lighting that prevails 
in the showy cafes of the boulevards, must neverthe- 
less be a great advance on the ancient way that it 
had of being lighted with crude oil lamps and can- 
delabra. But the dim illumination is in perfect 
keeping with the other appointments of the place, 
which are dark, sombre, and funereal. The interior 
of the Procope is as dark as a finely colored old 
meerschaum pipe. The woodwork, the chairs, and 
the tables are deeply stained by time, the contrasting 
white marble tops of the tables suggesting grave- 
stones ; and with all these go the deeply discolored 
walls and the many ancient paintings, — even the 
caisse, behind which sits Madame Theo, dozing over 
her knitting. This caisse is a wonderful piece of 
furniture in itself, of some rich dark wood, beauti- 
fully carved and decorated. 

Madame Theo is in black, her head resting against 
the frame of an old crayon portrait of Voltaire on 
the wall behind her. A fat and comfortable black 
cat is asleep in the midst of rows of white saucers 
and snowy napkins. The only gargon, except the 
gargon apprentice, is sitting in a corner drowsing 
over an evening paper, but ever ready to answer the 
quiet calls of the customers. For in the matter 
of noise and frivolity the Cafe Procope is wholly un- 
like the boulevard cafes. An atmosphere of refined 
and elegant suppression pervades the place ; the 
roystering spirit that haunts the boulevards stops at 
the portals of the Procope. Here all is peace and 



tranquillity, and that is why it is the haunt of many 
earnest aud aspiring poets and authors ; for hither 
they may bring their portfolios in peace and security, 
and here they may work upon their manuscripts, 
knowing that their neighbors are similarly engrossed 
and that intrusion is not to be feared. And then, 
too, are they not sitting on the same chairs and 
writing at the same tables that have been occupied 
by some of the greatest men in all the brilliant history 
of France ? Is not this the place in which great- 
ness had budded and blossomed in the centuries 
gone ? Are not these ancient walls the same that 
echoed the wit, badinage, and laughter of the mas- 
ters ? And there are the portraits of the great them- 
selves, looking down benignly and encouragingly 
upon the young strugglers striving to follow in their 
footsteps, and into the ghostly mirrors, damaged by 
time and now sending back only ghosts of shadows, 
they look as the great had looked before them. It 
is here, therefore, that many of the modern geniuses 
of France have drawn their inspiration, shaking off 
the endless turmoil of the noisy and bustling world, 
living with the works and memories of the ancient 
dead, and working out their destiny under the magic 
spell that hovers about the place. It is for this 
reason that the habitues are jealous of the intrusion 
of the curious and worldly. In this quiet and se- 
cure retreat they feel no impinging of the wearing 
and crippling world that roars and surges through 
the busy streets and boulevards. 

M. Theo de Bellefond is the full name of the pro- 



prietor, but he is commonly known as M, Theo. He 
is a jolly little man, with an ambitious round stomach, 
a benevolent face covered with a Vandyke beard, 
and a shining bald head. A large flowing black 
cravat, tied into an artistic neglige bow, hides his 
shirt. M. Theo came into possession of the Procope 
in 1893, a fact duly recorded on a door panel, along 
with the names of over a score of the celebrities 
who have made the Procope their place of rest, re- 
fection, and social enjoyment. M. Procope was a 
journalist in his day, but now the ambition that 
moves him is to restore the ancient glory of the 
Procope ; to make it again the centre of French 
brains and power in letters, art, and politics. To 
this end he exerts all his journalistic tact, a fact 
clearly shown by the able manner in which he con- 
ducts his journal, Le Procope. He has worked out 
the history of the cafe, and has at the ends of his 
fingers the life- stories of its famous patrons. 

The Cafe Procope was founded in 1689 by Fran- 
cois Procope, where it now stands. Opposite was 
the Comedie Frangaise, which also was opened that 
year. The cafe soon became the rendezvous of all 
who aspired to greatness in art, letters, philosophy, 
and politics. It was here that Voltaire, in his eighty- 
second year, while attending the rehearsals of his 
play, "Irene," descended from his chaise-a-porteur 
at the door of the Cafe Procope, and drank the 
coffee which the cafe had made fashionable. It was 
here also that he became reconciled to Piron, after 

an estrangement of more than twenty years. 



Ste.-Foix made trouble here one day about a cup 
of chocolate. A duel with the proprietor of the cafe 
was the immediate result, and after it Ste.-Foix, 
badly wounded, exclaimed, "Nevertheless, monsieur, 
your sword-thrust does not prevent my saying that a 
very sickly dejeuner is une tasse de chocolat !" 

Jean-Jacques Rousseau, after the successful repre- 
sentation of " Le Devin de Village," was carried in 
triumph to the Procope by Condorcet, who, with 
Jean-Jacques on his shoulders, made a tour of the 
crowded cafe, yelling, " Vive la Musique Frangaise !" 

Diderot was fond of sittingr in a corner and manu- 
facturing paradoxes and materialistic dissertations to 
provoke the lieutenant of police, who would note 
everything he said and report it to the chief of 
police. The lieutenant, ambitious though stupid, one 
night told his chief that Diderot had said one never 
saw souls ; to which the chief returned, " M, Diderot 
se trompe. L'ame est un esprit, et M. Diderot est 
plein d' esprit." 

Danton delighted in playing chess in a quiet corner 
with a strong adversary in the person of Marat. 
Many other famous revolutionists assembled here, 
among them Fabre d' Eglantine, Robespierre, d'Hol- 
bach, Mirabeau, Camille Desmoulins. It was here 
that Camille Desmoulins was to be strangled by the 
reactionists in the Revolution ; it was here that the 
first bonnet rouge was donned. The massacre of 
December, 1792, was here planned, and the killing 
began at the very doors of the cafe. Madame Ro- 
land, Lucille Desmoulins, and the wife of Danton 



met here on the loth of August, the day of the fall 
of the monarchy, when bells rang and cannon thun- 
dered. It was later that Bonaparte, then quite 
young and living in the Quai Conti, in the building 
which the American Art Association now occupies, 
left his hat at the Procope as security for payment 
for a drink, he having left his purse at home. In 
short, the old cafe of the Rue des Fosses-St.-Ger- 
main (its old name) was famous as the meeting- 
place of celebrities. Legendre, the great geometri- 
cian, came hither. One remembers the verses of 
Masset : "Je joue aux dominos quelquefois chez 
Procope." Here Gambetta made speeches to the 
reactionist politicians and journalists. He engaged 
in more than one prise de bee with le pere Coquille, 
friend of Veuillot. Coquille always made sprightly 
and spirited replies when Gambetta roared, thun- 
dered, and swore. 

Since then have followed days of calm. In later 
times Paul Verlaine was a frequenter of the Procope, 
where he would sit in his favorite place in the little 
rear salon at Voltaire's table. This little salon, in 
the rear of the cafe, is held sacred, for its chair and 
table are the ones that Voltaire used to occupy. 
The table is on one side of the small room. On the 
walls are many interesting sketches in oil by well- 
known French artists, and there are fine ceiling 
decorations ; but all these are seen with difficulty, 
so dim is the light in the room. Since Voltaire's 
time this table has become an object of curiosity 

and veneration. When celebrated habitues of the 



cafe died this table was used as an altar, upon which 
for a time reposed the bust of the decedent before 
crepe-covered lanterns. 

During the Revolution Hebert jumped upon this 
table, which had been placed before the door of the 
cafe, and harangued the crowd gathered there, ex- 
citing them to such a pitch that they snatched the 
newspapers from the hands of the news-venders. In 
a moment of passionate appeal he brought down his 
heavy boot-heel upon the marble with such force as 
to split it. 

In the cafe are three doors that are decorated in a 
very interesting fashion. On the panels of one, well 
preserved in spite of the numerous transformations 
through which the establishment has gone, M. Theo 
conceived the happy idea of inscribing in gold letters 
the names of the illustrious who have visited the 
cafe since its founding. Many of the panels of the 
walls are taken with full-length portraits by Thomas, 
representing, among others, Voltaire, Rousseau, 
Robespierre, Diderot, Danton and Marat playing 
chess, Mirabeau, and Gambetta. There are smaller 
sketches by Corot, d'Aubigny, Vallon, Courbet, Wil- 
lette, and Roedel. Some of them are not fine speci- 
mens of art. 

M. Theo is a devoted collector of rare books and 
engravings. His library, which contains many very 
rare engravings of the eighteenth century and more 
than one book of priceless value, is open to his intimate 
friends only, with whom he loves to ramble through 
his treasures and find interesting data of his cafe. 


BISHOP had been industriously at work upon a 
large black-and-white drawing. The subject 
was a ball-room scene, — of evident low de- 
gree, judging from the abandon of the whirling 
figures and the queer types that were 
depicted. White lace skirts were sweep- 
ing high in air, revealing black- stockinged 
ankles and gauzy lingerie in a way un- 
known to the monde propre. In contrast 
to the grace and abandon of the female 
figures were the coarseness and clumsi- 
ness of their male partners. 

The work was nearly finished, but 
Bishop professed to be dissatisfied with 
the foreground architecture and with the 
drawing of a hand belonging to one of 
the male dancers. After boringr me at 
length with a speech on the necessity of 
having a model for that hand, he sheep- 
ishly asked me if I would pose for the 
elusive member. It was then that curi- 
osity prompted me to inquire where he had found 
the original of this remarkable scene. 

" Mon enfant sculpteur." he replied, with the pat 
ronizing air of a man of the world, 
Moulin de la Galette." 


this is the 


"And where is that?" I asked. 

" I will show you to-morrow night, if you agree." 

To-morrow would be Sunday. When it had passed 
and the evening was come, and after we had enjoyed 
two courses of Madame Darblay's juicy gigots and ir- 
resistible beans, with the incomparable sauce afforded 
by the presence of the sunny actresses who were 
there, we walked over to the Boulevard St.-Jacques 
and waited for the Montmartre 'bus to come along. 
These small, ancient omnibuses are different from 
the other vehicles of that breed in Paris, in that in- 
stead of having a narrow curved stairway at the rear 
leading up to the imperiale, there are but three or 
four iron foot-rests against the outside of the rear 
wall, with an iron rod on either side to cling to in 
mounting. Now, the traveller who would reach the 
imperiale must be something of either an acrobat or 
a sailor, because, first, as these 'buses do not stop, a 
running leap has to be made for the ladder, and, 
second, because of the pitching and rolling of the 
lumbering vehicle, the catching and climbing are not 
easy. If you carry a cane or a parcel, it must be 
held in the teeth until the ascent is made, for both 
hands have all they can do in the ladder exercise. 

The gleam of the red lamp coming down the street 
prepared us for a test of our agility. As only one 
could mount the ladder at a time, and as I was the 
first to attack the feat, Bishop had to run behind for 
nearly a block before I could give him the right of 
way up the ladder. The conductor registered deux 
sur I'imperiale as we swung to the top and took seats 


forward, just behind the driver. Ladies and fat gen- 
tlemen are rarely, or never, found riding on the 
imperiale of the Montmartre line. 

We wrapped up in our big warm coats and lay 
back smoking three-sous cigars (always three-sous 
ones on Sunday), and as the driver cracked his whip 
and the heavy machine went rolling along, we enjoyed 
the wonderful treat of seeing gay Paris of a Sunday 
night from the top of an omnibus. There is hardly 
anything more delightful, particularly from the top 
of a St. Jacques-Montmartre 'bus, which generally 
avoids the broad, brilliant streets and goes rolling 
and swaying through the narrow, crooked streets of 
old Paris. Here there is hardly room for such a 
vehicle to pass, and one is anxious lest one's feet 
sweep off the gas-lamps that fly past. An intimate 
view of the domestic life of Paris presents itself like- 
wise, for, being on a level with the second story win- 
dows, you have flitting visions of the Parisian menage 
in all its freedom and variety. At this time of the 
evening the windows are wide open and the dinner- 
tables are spread near them, for a view of the street 

On, on we rumbled, through seemingly intermina- 
ble miles of crooked streets, over the gay Boul' 
Mich', and the Place St.-Michel ; across the river, 
which reflected the myriads of lights along its walls 
and bridges ; past the Halles, the greatest market- 
place in the world ; past the grand boulevards, a 
confusing glitter of colors and lights ; past the Folies- 

Bergere, where flaming posters announced Loie Ful- 



ler in the throes of a fire dance ; and at last to the 
steep grade of Montmartre. Here a third horse was 
added to the pair, and slowly we were dragged up 
the slope. 

At the Boulevard Clichy we suddenly found our- 
selves in the midst of a terrific uproar ; bells, steam- 
whistles, hand-organs, bands of music, drums, and 
calliopes made the bedlam. The streets were blocked 
with moving masses of laughing people, and the 
scene was gayly illuminated by rows of lamps over- 
head and on hundreds of stands, merry-go-rounds, 
theatres, circuses, museums, and all kinds of catch- 
penny attractions that lined the boulevard. For this 
was the Fete de Clichy. Far down the street, almost 
hidden by a curve, could be seen the illuminated 
arms of the Moulin Rouge slowly revolving through 
the night. 

Still on and up crawled the 'bus, now in the very 
heart of Montmartre, through the lively, crowded, 
bright streets on the great hill of Paris. Here are 
hot-chestnut venders at the corners ; fried-potato 
women, serving crisp brown chips ; street hawkers, 
with their heavy push-carts ; song-sellers, singing the 
songs that they sell, to make purchasers familiar with 
the airs ; flower-girls ; gaudy shops ; bright restau- 
rants and noisy cafes, — all constituting that distinctive 
quarter of Paris, Montmartre. 

At last the summit of the hill was made, and the 

panting horses must have been glad that it was all 

down-hill ahead. Bishop gave the signal to alight 

a block before the desired street was reached, for by 



the time we could touch the ground the 'bus had 
covered that distance on the down run. Bishop led 
the way up a dim little street, — the Rue Muller, I 
noticed on the wall. It was very steep, and at last 
ended at the bottom of a flight of stone steps that 
seemed to run into the sky. Their length was 
marked by lamps glowing one above another in long 
rows. It was hard work climbing to the top. 

The top at last ! We seemed to be among the 
clouds. Far below us lay the great shining city, 
spreading away into distance ; and although it was 
night, the light of a full moon and untold thousands 
of lamps in the streets and buildings below enabled 
us easily to pick out the great thoroughfares and the 
more familiar structures. There was the Opera, 
there the Pantheon, there Notre-Dame, there St.- 
Sulpice, there the Invalides, and, uplifted to emulate 
the eminence on which we stood, the Tour Eiffel, its 
revolving searchlight at the apex shining like an im- 
mense meteor or comet with its misty trail stretching 
out over the city. The roar of life faintly reached 
our ears from the vast throbbing plain, where millions 
of human mysteries were acting out their tragedies. 
The scene was vast, wonderful, entrancing. 

Far above us still a maze of rafters, beams, and 
scaffolding fretted the sky, — the skeleton of that 
beautiful but unfinished Church of the Sacre-Cceur, 
crowning the very summit of Montmartre. 

There seemed to be no life here, for not a soul did 
we meet, and not a light shone except that of the 
moon. Bishop guided me through a maze of steep 
15 22s 


stony passages, between the walls of dark gardens, 
turning now to the right, again to the left, through 
archways and courts ; and I wondered how he could 
remember them all. Before I could fully comprehend 
our position we were confronted by two black, gaunt, 
uncanny objects with long outstretched arms that cut 
across the sky like giant skeleton sentinels forbidding 
our farther advance. But the sounds of lively music 
and the glow of rows of white-globed lamps quickly 
banished the illusion and advertised the fact that we 
were in a very material and sensual world, for they 
announced the Moulin de la Galette at the foot of the 
passage. The spectres against the sky were only 
very, very old windmills, relics of the time, three 
centuries gone, when windmills crowded the summit 
of Montmartre to catch all the winds that blew. 
Now they stand, stark, dead, silent, and decaying ; 
their stately revolutions are no more ; and the skele- 
ton frames of their fans look down on a marvellous 
contrast, the intensely real life of the Galette. 

We fell in line with many others at the ticket office, 
and paid the fifty centimes admission fee (ladies 
twenty-five centimes). We were relieved of our hats 
and canes by a stout old woman in the vestiaire, who 
claimed two sous from each. Following the up-hill 
passage of the entrance, the walls of which are 
painted with flowers and garden scenes, we entered 
the great ball-room. What a brilliant scene of life 
and light ! — at first a blur of sound, light, and move- 
ment, then gradually resolving into the simple ele- 
ments composing it. The floor was covered with 




dancers, and the girls were making a generous dis- 
play of graceful anatomy. A large band at the far- 
ther end of the room, on an inclined stand, was the 
vortex of the din. The promenade encircling the 
hall was crowded with hatless laughing girls and 
smooth-faced boys wearing caps or flat-brimmed low- 
crowned hats ; their trousers fitted tight at the knees, 
and their heads were closely cropped. These were 
strolling in groups, or watching the dancers, or sit- 
ting at the rows of wooden tables drinking. All 
within the vast hall had gone to enjoy their Sunday 
night as much as possible. To most of the girls this 
was the one night in the week when, not tired out 
from the drudgery of hard work, they could throw 
aside all cares and live in the way for which their 
cramped and meagre souls yearned. This is a ren- 
dezvous for the humble workers of the city, where 
they may dress as best they can, exchange their 
petites histoires, and abandon themselves to the 
luxury of the dance ; for they are mostly shop-girls, 
and blanchisseuses, and the like, who, when work 
fails them, have to hover about the dark streets at 
night, that prosperous-looking passers-by may be 
tempted by the pleading of their dark saucy eyes, or 
be lured by them to some quiet spot where their 
lovers lie in wait with a lithe and competent black 
slung-shot. No mercy for the hapless bourgeois 
then ! For the dear Henris and Jacques and Louises 
must have their sous for the comforts of life, as well 
as the necessities, and such luxuries as tobacco and 
drink must be considered ; and if the money where- 



with all this may be bought is not produced by Mar- 
celle or Helene or Marie, she will get a beating for 
her slothfulness or lack of skill, and will be driven 
into the street with a hurting back to try again. And 
so Henri, Jacques, or Louis basks in the sun, and 
smokes cigarettes with never a care, except that of 
making his devoted little mistress perform her duties, 
knowing well how to retain her affection by selfish- 
ness and brutality. 

This night, however, all that was forgotten. It 
was the one free, happy night of the week, the night 
of abandon and the dance, of laughter, drinking, and 
jollity, for which one and all had longed for a whole 
impatient and dreary week ; and Henri, Jacques, and 
Louis could spend on drinks with other of their femi- 
nine acquaintances the sous that their mistresses had 
provided. The band played lustily ; the lights shone ; 
the room was filled with laughter, — let the dance 
go on ! 

Stationed in different parts of the room were the 
big soldiers of the Garde Municipale, in their pictu- 
resque uniform so familiar to all the theatre-goers of 
Paris. They were here to preserve order, for the 
dancers belong to an inflammable class, and a blaze 
may spring up at any moment. Equally valuable as 
a repressing force was a burly, thick-necked, power- 
ful man who strolled hither and thither, his glance 
everywhere and always veiling a threat. He wore a 
large badge that proclaimed him the master of cere- 
monies. True, he was that, which was something, 

but he was a great deal more, — a most astonishingly 



prompt and capable bouncer. The male frequenters 
of the place were evidently in mortal terror of him, 
for his commanding size and threatening manner, and 
his superbly developed muscles, contrasted strikingly 
with the cringing manner and weak bodies of Henri 
and his kind ; and should he look their way with a 
momentary steadiness of glance and poise of figure, 
their conversation would instantly cease, and they 
would slink away. 

We seated ourselves at a vacant table that com- 
manded a sweeping view of the floor and the prom- 
enade. A seedy-looking gargon worked his way 
through the crowd and took our order for beer ; and 
mean, stale beer it was. But we did not care for 
that. Bishop was all afire with enjoyment of the 
scene, for, he protested, the place was infinitely rich 
in types and character, — the identical types that the 
great Steinlen loves to draw. And here is an inter- 
esting thing : The girls all were of that chic and 
petite order so peculiar to certain classes of Parisian 
women, some hardly so high as Bishop's shoulder, 
which is itself not very high ; and though they looked 
so small, they were fully developed young women, 
though many of them were under twenty. They 
wore no hats, and for the most part, unlike their gor- 
geous sisters of the boulevard cafes, they were dressed 
plainly, wearing black or colored waists and skirts. 
But ah ! — and here the unapproachable instinct-skill 
of the French-woman shows itself, — on these same 
waists and skirts were placed here and there, but 
always just where they ought to be, bows and rib- 



bons ; and it was they that worked the miracle of 
grace and style. And the girls had a certain beauty, 
a beauty peculiar to their class, — not exactly beauty, 
but pleasing features, healthy color, and, best of all 
and explaining all, an archness of expression, a touch 
of sauciness, that did for their faces what the bows 
and ribbons did for their gowns. 

Near us a large door opened into the garden of 
the Moulin ; it was filled with trees and benches and 
tables, and amidst the dark foliage glowed colored 
Chinese lanterns, which sifted a soft light upon the 
revellers assembled beneath them in the cool evening 
air. On one side of the garden stretched Paris far 
down and away, and on the other side blazed the 
Moulin de la Galette through the windows. 

A waltz was now being danced. Strange to say, it 
was the one dismal feature of the evening, and that 
was because the French do not know how to dance it, 
" reversing" being unknown. And there was an odd 
variety of ways in which the men held their partners 
and the dancers each other. Some grasped each 
other tightly about the waist with both arms, or sim- 
ilarly about the necks or shoulders, and looked 
straight into each other's face without a smile or an 
occasional word. It was all done in deadly earnest, 
as a serious work. It was in the quadrille that the 
fun came, when the girls varied the usual order by 
pointing their toes toward the chandeliers with a 
swish of white skirts tnat made the by-standers cry, 
" Encore, Marcelle !" The men, yearning for a share 

of the applause, cut up all sorts of antics and ca- 



pers, using their arms and legs with incredible agil- 
ity, making grotesque faces, and wearing hideous 
false noses and piratical moustaches. 

Securing a partner for a dance was the easiest 
thing possible. Any girl was eligible, — simply the 
asking, the assent, and away they went. 

Bishop's pencil kept moving rapidly as he caught 
fleeting notes of faces, dresses, attitudes — every- 
thing — for his unfinished piece at the studio. A 
number of promenaders, attracted by his sketching, 
stopped to watch him. That dance was now finished, 
and the dancers separated wherever they stopped, and 
turned away to seek their separate friends ; there was 
no waste of time in escorting the girls to seats, for 
that is not fashionable at Montmartre. The girls 
came flocking about Bishop, curious over his work, 
and completely shut out his view. " Oh !" exclaimed 
one saucy petite blonde, "let me see my portrait ! I 
saw you sketching me during the dance." " Et 
moi. — moi aussi !" cried the others, until Bishop, 
overwhelmed, surrendered his book for the inspec- 
tion of bright, eager eyes. 

" Has not monsieur a cigarette ?" archly asked a 
girl with a decided nez retrousse. " Oui," I answered, 
handing her a packet, from which with exquisite, un- 
conscious daintiness she selected one. The whole 
bevy then made a similar request, and we were soon 
enveloped in a blue haze. 

"Vousferez mon portrait, n'est-ce-pas ?" begged a 
dark-eyed beauty of Bishop, in a smooth, pleasant 
voice. She had a striking appearance. A mass of 



rebellious black hair strove persistently to fall over 
her oval face, and when she would neglect to push 
it back her eyes, dark and melancholy, shone through 
its tangle with a singular wild lustre. Her skin was 
dark, almost swarthy, but it was touched with a fine 
rosy glow of health and youth. Her features were 
perfect ; the nose was slightly romanesque, the chin 
firm, the lips red and sensuous. When she drew 
our attention with her request she was standing be- 
fore us in a rigid, half-defiant, half-commanding 
posture; but when she quickly added, "I will pose 
for you, — see?" and sat down beside me, opposite- 
Bishop, her striking native grace asserted itself, for 
from a statue of bronze she suddenly became all 
warmth and softness, every line in her perfect, lithe 
figure showing her eagerness, and eloquent with 

It was clear that Bishop was deeply impressed by 
the striking picture that she made ; it was her beau- 
tiful wild head that fascinated him most. 

"No, I am first," insisted a little vixen, hard- 
featured and determined. "Jamais de la vie!" 
" C'est moi !" protested others, with such fire that I 
feared there would be trouble. The turmoil had the 
effect of withdrawing Bishop's attention momentarily 
from the beautiful tigress beside me. He smiled in 
bewilderment. He would be happy to draw them 

all, but At last he pacified them by proposing 

to take them in turn, provided they would be pa- 
tient and not bother him. To this they poutingly 

agreed ; and Bishop, paying no more attention to 



the girl beside me, rapidly dashed off sketch after 
sketch of the other girls. Exclamations of surprise, 
delight, or indignation greeted each of the portraits 
as it was passed round. Bishop was seeking " char- 
acter," and as he was to retain the portraits, he 
made no efforts at flattery. 

All this time the dark-eyed one had sat in perfect 
silence and stillness beside me, watching Bishop in 
wonder. She had forgotten her hair, and was gazing 
through it with more than her eyes as his pencil 
worked rapidly. I studied her as well as I could as 
she sat all heedless of my existence. Her lips 
slightly curved at the corners into a faint suggestion 
of a smile, but as Bishop's work kept on and the 
other girls monopolized him, the lips gradually har- 
dened. The shadow of her chin fell upon her smooth 
throat, not darkening it too much for me to observe 
that significant movements within it indicated a strug- 
gle with her self-control. Bishop was now sketching 
a girl, the others having run off to dance ; they would 
return in their order. The girl beside me said to me, 
in a low voice, without looking at me, — 

" Monsieur est Anglais ?" 

" No," I answered. 

"Ah! Americain?" 

" Yes." 

"And your friend?" nodding toward Bishop. 

" American also." 

"Is he " but she suddenly checked herself 

with odd abruptness, and then quickly asked, with a 
shallow pretence of eager interest, "Is America far 



from Paris ?" And so she continued to quiz me 
rather vacantly concerning a great country of whose 
whereabouts she had not the slightest idea. Then 
she was silent, and I imagined that she was gather- 
ing herself for some supreme effort. Suddenly she 
turned her marvellous eyes full toward me, swept the 
wild hair from her face, looked almost fiercely at me 
a moment, and, riaid from head to foot, asked, half 
angrily, and then held her breath for the answer, — 

" Is he married ?" 

The question was asked so suddenly and so 
strangely, and with so commanding a manner, that I 
had not a moment to consider the wisdom of lying. 

" No," I answered. 

She sank back into her chair with a deep breath, 
all softness and grace again, and her wild hair fell 
back over her face. 

She had lost all interest in the ball. While her 
companions were enjoying themselves in the dance, 
she sat motionless and silent beside me, watching 
Bishop. An uncomfortable feeling had taken pos- 
session of me. Presently I abruptly asked her why 
she did not dance. 

She started. " Dance?" she replied. She looked 
ov^er the hall, and an expression of scorn and disgust 
came into her face. '• Not with that espece de voy- 
ous," she vehemently added ; and then she turned 
to watch Bishop again. 

I now noticed for the first time that a group of the 
human vampires, standing apart at a little distance, 
were watching us closely and talking in low tones 



among themselves. My attention had been drawn 
to them by a defiant look that the girl had shot at 
them. One of them was particularly repulsive. He 
was rather larger and stronger than the others. His 
garb was that of his species, — tight trousers, a ne- 
glige shirt, and a rakish cap being its distinguishing 
articles. He stood with his hands in his pockets and 
his head thrust forward. He had the low, brutal face 
of his kind. It was now pale with rage. 

I asked the girl what her name was. 

" Helene," she answered, simply. 

Her other name ? 

Oh, just Helene. Sometimes it was Helene Cres- 
pin, for Crespin was her lover's name. All this with 
perfect frankness. 

" Where is he ?" I asked. 

" C'est lui avec la casquette," she answered, indi- 
cating the brute whom I have just described, but I 
had expected that. " I hate him now !" she vehe- 
mently added. 

No, she had neither father nor mother ; had no 
recollection of parents. Sometimes she worked in 
a printing shop in the Rue Victor Masse when extra 
hands were needed. 

After the girl who had been posing was dismissed 
another took her place ; then another, and another, 
and others ; and still others were waiting. The girl 
beside me had been watching these proceedings with 
increasing impatience. Some of the girls were so 
delighted that they threw their arms round Bishop's 
neck and kissed him. Others called him endearing 



names. At last it was evident that the dark girl 
could bear it no longer. She had been growing 
harder and harder, more and more restless. I con- 
tinued to watch her narrowly, — she had forgotten my 
existence. Gradually the natural rich color in her 
cheeks deepened, her eyes blazed through the tangled 
hair, her lips were set. Suddenly, after a girl had 
been more demonstrative than the others, she rose 
and confronted Bishop. All this time he had not 
even looked at her, and that, while making me 
uneasy, had made her furious. 

We three were alone. True, we were observed 
by many, for invasions by foreigners were very rare 
at the Moulin de la Galette, and we were objects of 
interest on that account ; and the sketching by 
Bishop had sent our fame throughout the hall. 

In a low, quiet voice the girl said to Bishop, as he 
looked up at her wonderingly, — 

" You promised to draw mine long ago." 

I had never seen my friend more embarrassed 
than he was at that moment. He stumbled over 
his excuses, and then asked her to pose to suit her 
fancy. He did it very gently, and the effect was 
magical. She sank into her chair and assumed the 
indolently graceful pose that she had unconsciously 
taken when she first seated herself. Bishop gazed 
at her in silence a long time before he began the 
sketch ; and then he worked with a sure and 
rapid hand. After it was finished he handed it to 
her. Instantly she was transfigured. She stared 
at the picture in wonder and delight, her lips parted, 



her chest hardly moving from her nearly suppressed 

"Do I look like that?" she asked, suspiciously. 
Indeed, it was an exquisite little piece of work, for 
Bishop had idealized the girl and made a beautiful 

" Did you not see me draw it while looking at 
you ?" he replied, somewhat disingenuously. 

"Will you give it to me?" she asked, eagerly. 

" Certainly." 

"And will you sign your name to it?" 

Bishop cheerfully complied. Then she took it, 
kissed it, and pressed it to her bosom ; and then, 
leaning forward, and speaking with a richness and 
depth of voice that she had not betrayed before, and 
in the deepest earnestness, said, — 

" Je vous aime !" 

Bishop, staggered by this forthright declaration of 
affection, blushed violently and looked very foolish. 
But he rallied and assured her that her love was re- 
ciprocated, for who, he asked, could resist so beauti- 
ful a face, so warm a heart ? If he had only known, 
if I could only have told him ! The girl sank back 
in her chair with a quizzical, doubting smile that 
showed perfect white teeth and changed to bright 
dimples the suggestion of a smile that fluttered at 
her mouth-corners. She carefully folded the sketch 
and daintily tucked it away in her bosom. 

Bishop had now quitted work, — Helene had seen 
to that. She had moved her chair close to his, and, 
looking him straight in the eyes, was rattling away 
ifi 241 


'.n the untranslatable argfot of Montmartre. It is not 
the argot of the slums, nor that of the thieves, nor 
that of the students, but that of Montmartre ; and 
there are no ways of expressing it intelligibly in 
English. Presently she became more serious, and 
with all the coaxing and pleading of which her ardent, 
impetuous nature was capable, she begged, — 

" Let me be your model. Je suis bien faite, and 
you can teach me to pose. You will be kind to me. 
I have a good figure. I will do everything, every- 
thing for you ! I will take care of the studio. I will 
cook, I will bring you everything, everything you 
want. You will let me live with you. I will love no 
one else. You will never be sorry nor ashamed. If 

you will only " That is the best translation I 

can give ; it is certainly what she meant, though it 
indicates nothing of the impetuosity, the abandon, 
the eagerness, the warmth, the savage beauty that 
shone from her as she spoke. 

Bishop rose to the occasion. He sprang to his 
feet. " I must dance after that !" he exclaimed, 
catching her up, laughing, and dragging her upon 
the floor. He could dance superbly. A waltz was 
being played, and it was being danced in the stiff 
and stupid way of the people. Very soon Bishop 
and Helene began to attract general attention, for 
never before had Montmartre seen a waltz danced 
like that. He reversed, and glided, and threw into 
the queen of dances all the grace and freedom that 
it demands. At first Helene was puzzled and be- 
wildered ; but she was agile both of mind and body, 



and under Bishop's sure guidance she put them to 
excellent use. Rapidly she caught the grace and 
spirit of the waltz, and danced with a verve that 
she had never known before. Swiftly and gracefully 
they skimmed the length of the great hall, then back, 
and wherever they went the dancers watched them 
with astonishment and delight, and gradually aban- 
doned their own ungraceful efforts, partly in shame, 
partly in admiration, and partly with a desire to learn 
how the miracle was done. Gradually the floor was 
wholly abandoned except for these two, and all eyes 
watched them, Helene was happy and radiant be- 
yond all ways of telling. Her cheeks were flushed, 
her eyes sparkled, her lithe figure developed all the 
ease, grace, and suppleness of a cat. 

Some muttered expressions of contempt spoken 
near me caused me to listen without turning round. 
They were meant for my ears, but I gave no heed. 
I knew well enough from whom they came, — Crespin 
and his friends. And I realized that we were in for 
it. True, there were the big guards and there was 
the capable bouncer, and they would glance my way 
now and then, seemingly to let Crespin know that 
all was understood and that it must be hands off 
with him. There was no danger here, but after- 

The waltz came to an end, and the two were vig- 
orously applauded. This was a critical moment, but 
Bishop handled it adroitly. He conducted Helene 
to a seat remote from our table, bowed low, and left 
her, and came over to me. I told him of my fears, 



but he laughed. He had got rid of Helene with 
perfect address, and perhaps she was nursing an 
angry and aching heart after her glorious triumph ; 
perhaps Bishop had whispered to her something of 
the danger and suggested that they have nothing 
more to do with each other that evening. Presently 
I saw her start and look round. Crespin was behind 
her. livid with rage. She promptly rose and followed 
him into the garden. Bishop had 
not seen the movement. We 
were near the door leading into 
the garden, and 
by turning a little 
I could see the 
couple outside, 
not far away. 
Crespin was 
standing with 
a bullying air, 
and was evident- 
ly cursing her. 
She had tossed 
back her hair and 
was looking him 
defiantly in the face. I saw her lips move in speech. 
Instantly the ruffian dealt her a violent blow upon 
the chest, and she staggered back against a tree, 
which prevented her falling. 

" Come, let us stop that," I said to Bishop. 
" Helene's lover is beating her in the garden." 

Bishop sprang to his feet and followed me. As he 




glanced out the window at the couple, whom I pointed 
out, he saw Crespin approach the dazed girl and deal 
her a terrible blow in the mouth, and he saw the 
blood that followed the blow. 

We arrived in the garden as a crowd was gather- 
ing. Bishop pushed his way ahead and was about 
to spring upon the brute, when Helene saw him. 
With a supreme effort she leaped forward, thrust 
Bishop aside with a command to mind his own af- 
fairs, threw herself into her lover's arms, and kissed 
him, smearing his face with her blood. He glared at 
us, triumphant. The guards arrived, and Helene 
and her lover disappeared among the trees in the 

" Oh, another unfaithful cocotte !" laughed one in 
the crowd, explaining to the guards ; and they re- 
turned to their drinking and dancing, remarking, 
" Beat a woman, and she will love you." 

They had all missed the heroism and devotion of 
Helene's interference. It was to keep a knife out of 
the body of the man she loved that she smeared her 
lover's face with her blood. We saw her no more. 

We returned to the hall and strolled round the 
promenade, for we needed that to become calm 
again. And the girls mobbed Bishop, for he had 
passed out the word that he wanted a model, and 
that he would pay a franc an hour. A franc an 
hour ! And so they mobbed him. Was not that 
more than they could hope to earn by a whole day's 
hard work ? Yes, they would all pose gladly, but 
only in costume, bien entendu ! So Bishop was busy 



taking down the names of Marcelle, Lorette, Elise, 
Marie, and the rest, with the names of the queer and 
unheard-of streets in which they lived, mostly in the 
quarters of Montmartre and the Batignolles. 

The can-can was now raging on the floor, and the 
tired gar^ons were dodging about with their glass- 
laden trays. Dancing, making love, throwing lumps 
of sugar, the revellers enjoyed themselves. 

We left. The moon cast gaunt shadows across 
the streets from the old windmills and the trees. We 
struck out briskly, intending to catch the last St- 
Jacques 'bus home, and with that purpose we 
threaded the maze of steep passages and streets on 
our way to the Rue Muller. Upon reaching the top 
of the hill, behind the great skeleton of the Sacred 
Heart, where all was silent and still as the grave, we 
suddenly discovered the shadowy figures of men 
slipping out from a dark little street. We knew 
what it meant. With a common impulse we sprang 
forward, for it was now a run for our lives. I had 
recognized Crespin in the lead. With headlong 
speed we dashed down the steep incline, swinging 
our canes to check an attack in the rear. We had 
dodged out of our proper way to the Rue Muller, 
and now it was a matter of speed, endurance, and 
luck to reach blindly some street where life and pro- 
tection might be found. 

A man clutched my coat. I beat him off with my 
stick, but the skirt of my coat was hanging loose, 
nearly ripped off. A cord went whizzing past me 
and caught Bishop's hat, but he went sturdily on 



bareheaded. Stones flew past us, and presently one 
caught me a terrific, sickening blow in the back. 1 
did not fall, but I staggered in my flight, for a strange 
heaviness came into my legs, and my head soon 
began to ache violently. 

Crespin was desperately active. I could hear him 
panting heavily as he gained upon us. His long 
shadow, cast by the moon, showed that he was about 
to spring upon Bishop. I swung my cane blindly, 
but with all my might, and it fell upon his head and 
laid him low ; but he quickly scrambled to his feet 
again. The ruffians were now upon us, — they were 
better used to the hill than we. 

"Separate!" gasped Bishop, "It is our only 
chance." At the next corner we suddenly swung 
apart, taking opposite directions. I plunged on 
alone, glad to hear for a time that footfalls were fol- 
lowing, — they meant that the pursuit had not con- 
centrated on Bishop. But after a while I realized 
that I was no longer pursued. I stopped and lis- 
tened. There was no sound. Weak and trembling, 
with an aching back and a splitting head, I sat down 
in a door-way and rested. That luxury was quickly 
interrupted by my reflecting that possibly Bishop had 
been overtaken ; and I knew what that would mean. 
I ran back up the hill as rapidly as my weakness and 
trembling and pain permitted. At last I found my- 
self at the corner where we had separated. There 
was no sound from any direction. I could only hope 
for the best and search and listen blindly through 

this puzzle of streets and passages. 



Presently I realized that I was near the fortifi- 
cations of Paris, close to St. Ouen, — that is to say, 
at the other end of Paris from the Quartier Latin, 
which was eight miles away. There was noihing 
to do but walk home. It was nearly four o'clock 
when I arrived. And there was Bishop in bed, 
nursing a big lump on his head, made by a flying 
stone. He had reached a street where a gendarme 
was, and that meant safety ; and then he had taken 
a cab for home, where he was looking very ridicu- 
lous poulticing his lump and making himself sick 
fretting about me. 


NEAR the end of a recent December Bishop 
received a note signed " A. Herbert Thomp- 
kins," written at the Hotel de I'Athenee, 
saying that the writer was in Paris for four days 
with his wife before proceeding to Vienna to join 
some friends. It closed by asking, " Could you call 
at the hotel this evening, say at seven ?" 

This note created great excitement at our studio 
early one morning, the facteur having climbed six 
flights of stairs (it being near to New Year) to de- 
liver it ; for Mr. Thompkins was one of Bishop's 
warmest friends in America. His unexpected arrival 
in Paris at this unseasonable time of the year was 
indeed a surprise, but a most agreeable one. So 
Bishop spent the whole of the afternoon in creasing 

his best trousers, ransacking our trunks for a clean 



collar to wear with my blue-fronted shirt, polishing 
his top-hat, and getting his Velasquez whiskers 
trimmed and perfumed at the coiffeur's. It was not 
every day that friends of Mr. Thompkins's type made 
their appearance in Paris. 

Bishop, after hours spent in absorbing mental 
work, at last disclosed his plan to me. Of course 
he would not permit me to keep out of the party, 
and besides, he needed my advice. Here was Mr. 


Thompkins in Paris, and unless he were wisely 
guided he would leave without seeing the city, — ex- 
cept those parts and phases of it that tourists cannot 
keep from stumbling over. It would be both a duty 



and a pleasure to introduce him to certain things of 
which he might otherwise die in ignorance, to the 
eternal undevelopment of his soul. But here was the 
rub : Would Mr, Thompkins care to be so radically 
different here for one night — just one night — from 
what he was at home ? I could not see how any harm 
could come to Mr. Thompkins or any one else with 
sense, nor how Bishop could possibly entertain him in 
anyway that would be disagreeable to a man of brains. 
But Bishop was evidently keeping something back. 
For that matter, he never did explain it, and I have 
not bothered about inferences. What Mr. Thomp- 
kins was at home I do not know. True, he was very 
much confused and embarrassed a number of times 
during the evening, but one thing I know, — he en- 
joyed himself immensely. And that makes me say 
that no matter what he was at home, he was a gen- 
tleman and philosopher while exploring an outlandish 
phase of Parisian Bohemian life that night under our 
guidance. He had a prim, precise way of talking, 
and was delightfully innocent and unworldly. My ! 
it would have been a sin for him to miss what he saw 
that night. So I told Bishop very emphatically that 
no matter what Mr. Thompkins was at home, nobody 
who knew him was likely to see him in Paris at that 
time of the year, and that it was Bishop's duty as a 
friend to initiate him. Bishop was very happy over 
my advice ; but when he insisted that we should take 
a cab for the evening's outing, I sternly reminded 
him of the bruises that our funds would receive on 
New Year's, and thus curbed his extravagance. He 

25 « 


surrendered with a pang, for after all his preparation 
he felt like a duke, and for that night, while enter- 
taining his friend, he wanted to be a duke, not a 
grubbing student. 

We met Mr. Thompkins at the hotel, and I found 
him a delightful man, with a pleasant sparkle of the 
eye and a certain stiffness of bearing. It was his 
intention to have us dine with him, but Bishop gently 
took him in hand, and gradually gave him to under- 
stand that on this night in a lifetime he was in the 
hands of his friends, to do as they said, and to ask 
no questions. Mr. Thompkins looked a little puzzled, 
a little apprehensive, and withal not unwilling to be 

The first thing we did was to introduce Mr. Thomp- 
kins to a quiet restaurant famous for its coquilles St- 
Jacques ; it is in the old Palais Royal. This is the 
dinner that Bishop ordered : 

Huitres Portugaises. 

Sauterne. Medoc. 


Coquilles St. -Jacques. 

Macaroni a la Milanaisc. 

Filet de boeuf. 

Pommes nouvelles sautees. 

Creme petit Suisse. 



Mr. Thompkins's enjoyment of the meal was as 

generous as his praise of Bishop's skill in ordering 

it, and he declared that the wines particularly were a 



rare treat. By the time that dinner had been finished 
he was enthusiastic about Paris. He said that it was 
a wonderful city, and that he was entirely at our dis- 
posal for the night. 

"I suppose, gentlemen," he suggested, "that you 
are going to invite me to the opera. Now, I have 
no objections to that, and I am sure I shall be de- 
lighted, — it is only one evening in a lifetime, perhaps. 
But I shall insist that you go as my guests." 

Bishop laughed merrily, and slapped his friend on 
the back in a way that I never should have employed 
with a man of so much dignity. 

"The opera, old man!" cried Bishop. "Why, 
you blessed idiot, you act like a tourist ! The opera ! 
You can go there any time. To-night we shall see 
Paris !" and he laughed again. " The opera !" he 
repeated. " Oh, my ! You can fall over the opera 
whenever you please. This is an opportunity for a 
tour of discovery." 

Mr. Thompkins laughed with equal heartiness, and 
declared that nothing would delight him more than 
to be an explorer — for one night in a lifetime. 

"The Boul' Mich' or Montmartre ?'' Bishop whis- 
pered to me. 

" Montmartre," I replied ; " Heaven, Death, Hell, 
and Bruant." 

Never had the Avenue de 1' Opera appeared so 
brilliant and lively as on that cold, crisp December 
night, as we strolled towards the boulevards. Its 
thousands of lights, its dashing equipages with the 
jingling harness of horses drawing handsome women 



and men to the Opera, its swiftly moving cabs 
and heavy 'buses roUing over the smooth wooden 
pavement, the shouts of drivers and the crack- 
ing of whips, the throngs of gay people enjoying 
the holiday attractions, the endless rows of gaudy 
booths lining the street, the flood of light and 
color ever)'where, the cuirassiers of the Garde 
Alunicipale mounted on superb horses standing 
motionless in the Place de 1' Opera, their long 
boots and steel breastplates and helmets glisten- 
ing, — these all had their place, — while the broad 
stairs of the Opera were crowded with beautifully 
gowned women and fashionable men pouring in to 
hear Sibyl Sanderson sing in "Samson and Deli- 
lah," — all this made a wonderful picture of life and 
beauty, of color, motion, vivacity, and enjoyment. 
Above the entrance to the Opera red marble col- 
umns reflected the yellow light of the gilded foyer 
and of the yellow blaze from the Cafe de la Paix 
across the way. 

We mounted a Montmartre 'bus and were pulled 
up the hill to the Boul' Clichy, the main artery of 
that strange Bohemian mountain with its eccentric, 
fantastic, and morbid attractions. Before us, in the 
Place Blanche, stood the great Moulin Rouge, the 
long skeleton arms of the Red Mill marked with 
red electric lights and slowly sweeping across the 
heavens, while fanciful figures of students and dancing 
girls looked out the windows of the mill, and a great 
crowd of lively, chatting, laughing people were push- 
ing their way toward the entrance of this famous 



dance-hall of Paris. Mr. Thompkins, entranced 
before the brilliant spectacle, asked somewhat hesi- 
tatingly if we might enter ; but Bishop, wise in the 
ways of Montmartre, replied, — 

" Not yet. It is only a little after nine, and the 
Moulin does not get wide awake for some hours yet. 
We have no time to waste while waiting for that. 
We shall first visit heaven." 

Mr. Thompkins looked surprised, but made no 
response. Presently we reached the gilded gales 
of Le Cabaret du Ciel. They were bathed in a 
cold blue light from above. Angels, gold-lined 
clouds, saints, sacred palms and plants, and other 
paraphernalia suggestive of the approach to St. 
Peter's domain, filled all the available space about 
the entree. A bold white placard. " Bock, i Franc," 
was displayed in the midst of it all. Dolorous 
church music sounded within, and the heavens were 
unrolled as a scroll in all their tinsel splendor as we 
entered to the bidding of an angel. 

Flitting about the room were many more angels, 
all in white robes and with sandals on their feet, and 
all wearing gauzy wings swaying from their shoulder- 
blades and brass halos above their yellow wigs. 
These were the waiters, the gargons of heaven, 
ready to take orders for drinks. One of these, with 
the face of a heavy villain in a melodrama and a 
beard a week old, roared unmelodiously, — 

" The greetings of heaven to thee, brothers ! 
Eternal bliss and happiness are for thee. Mayst 
thou never swerve from its golden paths ! Breathe 



thou its sacred purity and renovating exaltation. 
Prepare to meet thy great Creator — and don't forget 
the gargon !" 


A very long table covered with white extended 

the whole length of the chilly room, and seated at 



it, drinking, were scores of candidates for angelship, 
— mortals like ourselves. Men and women were 
they, and though noisy and vivacious, they indulged 
in nothing like the abandon of the Boul' Mich' cafes. 
Gilded vases and candelabra, together 
with foamy bocks, somewhat relieved 
the dead whiteness of the table. The 
ceiling was an impressionistic render- 
ing of blue sky, fleecy clouds, and 
golden stars, and the walls were made 
to represent the noble enclosure and 
golden gates of paradise. 

" Brothers, your orders ! Com- 
mand me, thy servant !" growled a 
ferocious angel at our elbows, with his 
accent de la Villette, and his brass 
halo a trifle askew. 

Mr. Thompkins had been very 
quiet, for he was Wonder in the flesh, 
and perhaps there was some distress 
in his face, but there was courage also. 
The suddenness of the angel's assault 
visibly disconcerted him, — he did not know what to 
order. Finally he decided on a verre de Chartreuse, 
green. Bishop and I ordered bocks. 

" Two sparkling draughts of heaven's own brew 
and one star-dazzler !" yelled our angel. 

"Thy will be done," came the response from a 
hidden bar. 

Obscured by great masses of clouds, through 
whose intervals shone golden stars, an organ con- 
17 257 

he serves beer in 
" heaven" 


tinually rumbled sacred music, which had a depress- 
ing rather than a solemn effect, and even the draughts 
of heaven's own brew and the star-dazzler failed to 
dissipate the gloom. 

Suddenly, without the slightest warning, the head 
of St. Peter, whiskers and all, appeared in a hole in 
the sky, and presently all of him emerged, even to 
his ponderous keys clanging at his girdle. He gazed 
solemnly down upon the crowd at the tables and 
thoughtfully scratched his left wing. From behind 
a dark cloud he brought forth a vessel of white 
crockery (which was not a wash-bowl) containing 
(ostensibly) holy water. After several mysterious 
signs and passes with his bony hands he generously 
sprinkled the sinners below with a brush dipped in 
the water ; and then, with a parting blessing, he 
slowly faded into mist. 

" Did you ever ? Well, well, I declare !" exclaimed 
Mr. Thompkins, breathlessly. 

The royal cortege of the kingdom of heaven was 
now forming at one end of the room before a shrine, 
whereon an immense golden pig sat sedately on his 
haunches, looking friendly and jovial, his loose skin 
and fat jowls hanging in folds. Lighted candles 
sputtered about his golden sides. As the partici- 
pants in the pageant, all attaches of the place, formed 
for the procession, each bowed reverently and crossed 
himself before the huge porker. A small man, dressed 
in a loose black gown and black skull-cap, evidently 
made up for Dante, whom he resembled, officiated as 
master of ceremonies. He mounted a golden pulpit, 



and delivered, in a loud, rasping voice, a tedious dis- 
course on heaven and allied things. He dwelt on 
the attractions of heaven as a perpetual summer re- 
sort, an unbroken 

round of pleasures in ^^ \\\M :,.'.,. /w, ^^^.>_ 

variety, where sweet 
strains of angelic 
music (indicating the 
wheezy organ), to- 
gether with unlimited 
stores of heaven's own 
sparkling fire of life, 
at a franc a bock, and 
beautiful golden- 
haired cherubs, of la 
Villette's finest, lent 
grace and perfection 
to the scheme. 

The parade then be- 
gan its tour about the 
room. Dante, carrying 
a staff surmounted by a golden bull, serving as 
drum-major. Angel musicians, playing upon sacred 
lyres and harps, followed in his wake, but the dolor- 
ous organ made the more noise. Behind the lyre 
angels came a number of the notables whom Dante 
immortalized, — at least, we judged that they were so 
intended. The angel garq;ons closed the cortege, 
their gauzy wings and brass halos bobbing in a 
stately fashion as they strode along. 

The angel gargons now sauntered up and gave us 




each a ticket admitting us to the angel-room and the 
other delights of the inner heaven. 

"You arre Eengleesh?" he asked. "Yes? Ah, 
theece Eengleesh arre verra genereauz," eyeing his 
fifty-centime tip with a questioning shrug. " Can 
you not make me un franc ? Ah, eet ees dam cold 
in theece laigs," pointing to his calves, which were 
encased in diaphanous pink tights. He got his 

Dante announced in his rasping voice that those 
mortals wishing to become angels should proceed up 
to the angel-room. All advanced and ascended the 
inclined passage-way leading into the blue. At the 
farther end of the passage sat old St. Peter, solemn 
and shivering, for it was draughty there among the 
clouds. He collected our tickets, gave the pass- 
word admitting us to the inner precincts, and re- 
sented Bishop's attempts to pluck a feather from his 
wings. We entered a large room, all a glamour of 
gold and silver. The walls were studded with blazing 
nuggets, colored canvas rocks, and electric lights. 
We took seats on wooden benches fronting a cleft 
in the rocks, and waited. 

Soon the chamber in which we sat became per- 
fectly dark, the cleft before us shining with a dim 
bluish light. The cleft then came to life with a bevy 
of female angels floating through the limited ethereal 
space, and smiling down upon us mortals. One of 
the lady angel's tights bagged at the knees, and an- 
other's wings were not on straight ; but this did not 

interfere with her flight, any more than did the sta- 



tionary position of the wings of all. But it was all 
very easily and gracefully done, swooping down, 
soaring, and swinging in circles like so many great 
eagles. They seemed to discover something of un- 
usual interest in Mr. Thompkins, for they singled him 
out to throw kisses at him. This made him blush 
and fidget, but a word from Bishop reassured him, — 
it was only once in a lifetime ! 

After these angels had gyrated for some time, the 
head angel of the angel-room requested those who 
desired to become angels to step forward. A num- 
ber responded, among them some of the naughty 
dancing-girls of the Moulin Rouge. They were 
conducted through a concealed door, and presently 
we beheld them soaring in the empyrean just as 
happy and serene as though they were used to being 
angels. It was a marvel to see wings so frail trans- 
port with so much ease a very stout young woman 
from the audience, and their being fully clothed did 
not seem to make any difference. 

Mr. Thompkins had sat in a singularly contem- 
plative mood after the real angels had quit tor- 
turing him, and surprised us beyond measure by 
promptly responding to a second call for those 
aspiring to angelhood. He disappeared with an- 
other batch from the Moulin Rouge, and soon after- 
wards we saw him floating like an airship. He even 
wore his hat. To his disgust and chagrin, however, 
one of the concert-hall angels persisted in flying in 
front of him and making violent love to him. This 

brought forth tumultuous applause and laughter, 



which completed Mr. Thompkins's misery. At this 
juncture the blue cleft became dark, the angel-room 
burst into light, and soon Mr. Thompkins rejoined us. 
As we filed out into the passage Father Time 
stood with long whiskers and scythe, greeted us 
with profound bows, and promised that his scythe 
would spare us for many happy years did we but 
drop sous into his hour-glass. 

There was no conversation among us when we 
emerged upon the boulevard, for Mr. Thompkins 
was in a retrospective frame of mind. Bishop em- 
braced the opportunity to lead us up the Boulevard 
Clichy to the Place Pigalle. As we neared the Place 
we saw on the opposite side of the street two flick- 
ering iron lanterns that threw a ghastly green light 
down upon the barred dead-black shutters of the 
building, and caught the faces of the passers-by with 
sickly rays that took out all the life and transformed 
them into the semblance of corpses. Across the top 
of the closed black entrance were large white letters, 
reading simply : 

Cafe du Neant 

The entrance was heavily draped with black cere- 
ments, having white trimmings, — such as hang before 
the houses of the dead in Paris. Here patrolled a 
solitary croque-mort, or hired pall-bearer, his black 
cape drawn closely about him, the green light re- 
flected by his glazed top-hat. A more dismal and 

forbidding place it would be difficult to imagine. Mr. 



Thompkins paled a little when he discovered that this 
was our destination, — this grisly caricature of eternal 
nothingness, — and hesitated at the threshold. With- 
out a word Bishop firmly took his arm and entered. 
The lonely croque-mort drew apart the heavy curtain 
and admitted us into a black hole that proved later 
to be a room. The chamber was dimly lighted with 
wax tapers, and a large chandelier intricately devised 
of human skulls and arms, with funeral candles held 
in their fleshless fingers, gave its small quota of light. 

Large, heavy, wooden coffins, resting on biers, 
were ranged about the room in an order suggesting 
the recent happening of a frightful catastrophe. The 
walls were decorated with skulls and bones, skele- 
tons in grotesque attitudes, battle-pictures, and guillo- 
tines in action. Death, carnage, assassination were 
the dominant note, set in black hangings and illumi- 
nated with mottoes on death. A half-dozen voices 
droned this in a low monotone : 

" Enter, mortals of this sinful world, enter into the 
mists and shadows of eternity. Select your biers, 
to the right, to the left ; fit yourselves comfortably to 
them, and repose in the solemnity and tranquillity of 
death ; and may God have mercy on your souls !" 

A number of persons who had preceded us had 
already pre-empted their coffins, and were sitting be- 
side them awaiting developments and enjoying their 
consommations, using the coffins for their real pur- 
pose, — tables for holding drinking-glasses. Along- 
side the glasses were slender tapers by which the 

visitors might see one another. 



There seemed 
to be no mechan- 
ical imperfection 
in the illusion of 
a charnel-house ; 
we imagined that 
even chemistry 
had contributed 
its resources, for 
there seemed dis- 
tinctly to be 
the odor ap- 
propriate to 
such a place. 
We found a 

vacant coffin in the vault, seated ourselves at it on 




rush-bottomed stools, and awaited further develop- 

Another croque-mort — a gar^on he was — came 
up through the gloom to take our orders. He was 
dressed completely in the professional garb 
of a hearse-follower, including claw-hammer 
coat, full-dress front, glazed tile, and oval 
silver badge. He droned, — 

"Bon soir, Macchabees ! * Buvez 
les crachats d'asthmatiques, voila des 
sueurs froides d'agonisants. Prenez done 
des certificats de deces, seulement vingt 
sous. C'est pas cher et c'est artistique !" 

Bishop said that he would be pleased 
with a lowly bock. Mr, Thompkins chose 
cherries a I'eau-de-vie, and I, une menthe. 

" One microbe of Asiatic cholera from 
the last corpse, one leg of a lively cancer, 
and one sample of our consumption 
germ !" moaned the creature toward a ^ waiter in 
black hole at the farther end of the room. ^„ ^„,.^„ 

\jr DEATH 

Some women among the visitors tittered, 
others shuddered, and Mr. Thompkins broke out in 
a cold sweat on his brow, while a curious accompani- 
ment of anger shone in his eyes. Our sleepy pall- 
bearer soon loomed through the darkness with our 
deadly microbes, and waked the echoes in the hollow 
casket upon which he set the glasses with a thump. 

* This word (also Maccabe, argot Macabit) is given in Paris 
by sailors to cadavers found floating in the river. 



"Drink, Macchabees !" he wailed: "drink these 
noxious potions, which contain the vilest and dead- 
liest poisons !" 

" The villain !" gasped Mr. Thompkins ; " it is hor- 
rible, disgusting, filthy !" 

The tapers flickered feebly on the coffins, and the 
white skulls grinned at him mockingly fi-om their 
sable background. Bishop exhausted all his tactics 
in trying to induce Mr. Thompkins to taste his bran- 
died cherries, but that gentleman positively refijsed, 
— he seemed unable to banish the idea that they 
were laden with disease germs. 

After we had been seated here for some time, get- 
ting no consolation from the utter absence of spirit 
and levity among the other guests, and enjoying only 
the dismay and trepidation of new and strange arri- 
vals, a rather good-looking young fellow, dressed in 
a black clerical coat, came through a dark door and 
began to address the assembled patrons. His voice 
was smooth, his manner solemn and impressive, as 
he delivered a well-worded discourse on death. He 
spoke of it as the gate through which we must all 
make our exit from this world, — of the gloom, the 
loneliness, the utter sense of helplessness and deso- 
lation. As he warmed to his subject he enlarged 
upon the follies that hasten the advent of death, and 
spoke of the relentless certainty and the incredible 
variety of ways in which the reaper claims his vic- 
tims. Then he passed on to the terrors of actual 
dissolution, the tortures of the body, the rending of 

the soul, the unimaginable agonies that sensibilities 



rendered acutely susceptible at this extremity are 
called upon to endure. It required good nerves to 
listen to that, for the man was perfect in his role. 
From matters of individual interest in death he passed 
to death in its larger aspects. He pointed to a large 
and striking battle scene, in which the combatants 
had come to hand-to-hand fighting, and were butcher- 
mg one another in a mad lust for blood. Suddenly 
the picture began to glow, the light bringing out its 
ghastly details with hideous distinctness. Then as 
suddenly it faded away, and where fighting men had 
been there were skeletons writhing and struggling 
in a deadly embrace. 

A similar effect was produced with a painting 
giving a wonderfully realistic representation of an 
execution by the guillotine. The bleeding trunk of 
the victim lying upon the flap-board dissolved, the 
flesh slowly disappearing, leaving only the white 
bones. Another picture, representing a brilliant 
dance-hall filled with happy revellers, slowly merged 
into a grotesque dance of skeletons ; and thus it was 
with the other pictures about the room. 

All this being done, the master of ceremonies, in 

lugubrious tones, invited us to enter the chambre 

de la mort. All the visitors rose, and, bearing 

each a taper, passed in single file into a narrow, 

dark passage faintly illuminated with sickly green 

lights, the young man in clerical garb acting as 

pilot. The cross effects of green and yellow 

lights on the faces of the groping procession were 

more startling than picturesque. The way was 



lined with bones, skulls, and fragments of human 

" O Macchabees, nous sommes devant la porte de 
la chambre de la mort !" wailed an unearthly voice 


from the farther end of the passage as we advanced. 

Then before us appeared a solitary figure standing 



beneath a green lamp. The figure was completely 
shrouded in black, only the eyes being visible, and 
they shone through holes in the pointed cowl. From 
the folds of the gown it brought forth a massive iron 
key attached to a chain, and, approaching a door 
seemingly made of iron and heavily studded with 
spikes and crossed with bars, inserted and turned 
the key ; the bolts moved with a harsh, grating noise, 
and the door of the chamber of death swung slowly 

"O Macchabees, enter into eternity, whence none 
ever return !" cried the new, strange voice. 

The walls of the room were a dead and unrelieved 
black. At one side two tall candles were burning, 
but their feeble light was insufficient even to disclose 
the presence of the black walls of the chamber or in- 
dicate that anything but unending blackness extended 
heavenward. There was not a thing to catch and 
reflect a single ray of the light and thus become visi- 
ble in the blackness. 

Between the two candles was an upright opening 
in the wall ; it was of the shape of a coffin. We were 
seated upon rows of small black caskets resting on 
the floor in front of the candles. There was hardly 
a whisper among the visitors. The black-hooded 
figure passed silently out of view and vanished in 
the darkness. 

Presently a pale, greenish-white illumination began 
to light up the coffin-shaped hole in the wall, clearly 
marking its outline against the black. Within this 
space there stood a coffin upright, in which a pretty 



young woman, robed in a white shroud, fitted snugly. 
Soon it was evident that she was very much ahve, for 
she smiled and looked at us saucily. But that was 
not for long. From the depths came a dismal wail : 

" O Macchabee, beautiful, breathing mortal, pul- 
sating with the warmth and richness of life, thou art 
now in the grasp of death ! Compose thy soul for 
the end !" 

Her face slowly became white and rigid ; her eyes 
sank ; her lips tightened across her teeth ; her cheeks 
took on the hollowness of death, — she was dead. 
But it did not end with that. From white the face 
slowly grew livid . . . then purplish black. . . . The 
eyes visibly shrank into their greenish-yellow sockets. 
. . . Slowly the hair fell away. . . . The nose melted 
away into a purple putrid spot. The whole face be- 
came a semi-liquid mass of corruption. Presently all 
this had disappeared, and a gleaming skull shone 
where so recently had been the handsome face of a 
woman ; naked teeth grinned inanely and savagely 
where rosy lips had so recently smiled. Even the 
shroud had gradually disappeared, and an entire 
skeleton stood revealed in the coffin. 

The wail again rang through the silent vault : 

"Ah, ah, Macchabee ! Thou hast reached the last 
stage of dissolution, so dreadful to mortals. The 
work that follows death is complete. But despair 
not, for death is not the end of all. The power is 
given to those who merit it, not only to return to life, 
but to return in any form and station preferred to 

the old. So return if thou deservedst and desirest." 




With a slowness equal to that of the dissolution, 
the bones became covered with flesh and cerements, 
and all the ghastly steps were reproduced reversed. 
Gradually the sparkle of the eyes began to shine 
through the gloom ; but when the reformation was 
completed, behold ! there was no longer the hand- 
some and smiling young woman, but the sleek, 
rotund body, ruddy cheeks, and self-conscious look 
of a banker. It was not until this touch of comedy 
relieved the strain that the rigidity with which Mr. 
Thompkins had sat between us began to relax, and 
a smile played over his face, — a bewildered, but none 
the less a pleasant, smile. The prosperous banker 
stepped forth, sleek and tangible, and haughtily strode 
away before our eyes, passing through the audience 
into the darkness. Again was the coffin-shaped hole 
in the wall dark and empty. 

He of the black gown and pointed hood now 
emerged through an invisible door, and asked if 
there was any one in the audience who desired to 
pass through the experience that they had just wit- 
nessed. This created a suppressed commotion ; 
each peered into the face of his neighbor to find one 
with courage sufficient for the ordeal. Bishop sug- 
gested to Mr. Thompkins in a whisper that he sub- 
mit himself, but that gentleman very peremptorily 
declined. Then, after a pause. Bishop stepped forth 
and announced that he was prepared to die. He 
was asked solemnly by the doleful person if he was 
ready to accept all the consequences of his decision. 

He replied that he was. Then he disappeared 



through the black wall, and presently appeared in 
the greenish-white light of the open coffin. There 
he composed himself as he imagined a corpse ought, 
crossed his hands upon his breast, suffered the white 
shroud to be drawn about him, and awaited results, 
— after he had made a rueful grimace that threw the 
first gleam of suppressed merriment through the op- 
pressed audience. He passed through all the ghastly- 
stages that the former occupant of the coffin had ex- 
perienced, and returned in proper person to life and 
to his seat beside Mr. Thompkins, the audience ap- 
plauding softly. 

A mysterious figure in black waylaid the crowd 
as it filed out. He held an inverted skull, into 
which we were expected to drop sous through the 
natural opening there, and it was with the feeling 
of relief from a heavy weight that we departed 
and turned our backs on the green lights at the 

What a wonderful contrast ! Here we were in the 
free, wide, noisy, brilliant world again. Here again 
were the crowds, the venders, saucy grisettes with 
their bright smiles, shining teeth, and alluring glances. 
Here again were the bustling cafes, the music, the 
lights, the life, and above all the giant arms of the 
Moulin Rouge sweeping the sky. 

"Now," quietly remarked Bishop, " having passed 
through death, we will explore hell." 

Mr. Thompkins seemed too weak, or unresisting, 

or apathetic to protest. His face betrayed a queer 




mixture of emotions, part suffering, part revulsion, 
part a sort of desperate eagerness for more. 

We passed through a large, hideous, fanged, open 
mouth in an enormous face from which shone eyes 
of blazing crimson. Curiously enough, it adjoined 
heaven, whose cool blue lights contrasted strikingly 
with the fierce ruddiness of hell. Red-hot bars and 
gratings through which flaming coals gleamed ap- 
peared in the walls within the red mouth, A placard 
announced that should the temperature of this in- 
ferno make one thirsty, innumerable bocks might be 
had at sixty-five centimes each, A little red imp 
guarded the throat of the monster into whose mouth 
we had walked ; he was cutting extraordinary capers, 
and made a great show of stirring the fires. The 
red imp opened the imitation heavy metal door for 
our passage to the interior, crying, — 

"Ah, ah. ah ! still they come ! Oh, how they will 
roast !" Then he looked keenly at Mr. Thompkins. 
It was interesting to note how that gentleman was 
always singled out by these shrewd students of hu- 
manity. This particular one added with great gusto, 
as he narrowly studied Mr Thompkins, " Hist ! ye 
infernal whelps ; stir well the coals and heat red the 
prods, for this is where we take our revenge on 
earthly saintliness !" 

"Enter and be damned, — the Evil One awaits 
you!" growled a chorus of rough voices as we hesi- 
tated before the scene confronting us. 

Near us was suspended a caldron over a fire, 

and hopping within it were half a dozen devil musi- 



cians, male and female, playing a selection from 
"Faust" on stringed instruments, while red imps 
stood by, prodding with red-hot irons those who 
lagged in their performance. 

Crevices in the walls of this room ran with streams 
of molten gold and silver, and here and there were 
caverns lit up by smouldering fires from which thick 
smoke issued, and vapors emitting the odors of a 
volcano. Flames would suddenly burst from clefts 
in the rocks, and thunder rolled through the caverns. 
Red imps were everywhere, darting about noise- 
lessly, some carrying beverages for the thirsty lost 
souls, others stirring the fires or turning somersaults. 
Everything was in a high state of motion. 

Numerous red tables stood against the fiery walls; 
at these sat the visitors. Mr. Thompkins seated 
himself at one of them. Instantly it became aglow 
with a mysterious light, which kept flaring up and 
disappearing in an erratic fashion ; flames darted 
from the walls, fires crackled and roared. One of 
the imps came to take our order ; it was for three 
coffees, black, with cognac ; and this is how he 
shrieked the order : 

" Three seething bumpers of molten sins, with a 

dash of brimstone intensifier !" Then, when he had 

brought it, "This will season your intestines, and 

render them invulnerable, for a time at least, to the 

tortures of the melted iron that will be soon poured 

down your throats." The glasses glowed with a 

phosphorescent light. " Three francs seventy-five, 

please, not counting me. Make it four francs. 



Thank you well. Remember that though hell is hot, 
there are cold drinks if you want them." 

Presently Satan himself strode into the cavern, 
gorgeous in his imperial robe of red, decked with 
blazing jewels, and brandishing a sword from which 
fire flashed. His black moustaches were waxed into 
sharp points, and turned rakishly upward above lips 
upon which a sneering grin appeared. Thus he 
leered at the new arrivals in his domain. His ap- 
pearance lent new zest to the activity of the imps 
and musicians, and all cowered under his glance. 
Suddenly he burst into a shrieking laugh that gave 
one a creepy feeling. It rattled through the cavern 
with a startling effect as he strode up and down. It 
was a triumphant, cruel, merciless laugh. All at 
once he paused in front of a demure young Parisi- 
enne seated at a table with her escort, and, eying 
her keenly, broke into this speech : 

"Ah, you! Why do you tremble? How many 
men have you sent hither to damnation with those 
beautiful eyes, those rosy, tempting lips ? Ah, for 
all that, you have found a sufficient hell on earth. 
But you," he added, turning fiercely upon her escort, 
"you will have the finest, the most exquisite tortures 
that await the damned. For what? For being a 
fool. It is folly more than crime that hell punishes, 
for crime is a disease and folly a sin. You fool ! 
For thus hanging upon the witching glance and oily 
words of a woman you have filled all hell with fuel 
for your roasting. You will sufier such tortures as 

only the fool invites, such tortures only as are ade- 



quate to punish folly. Prepare for the inconceivable, 
the unimaginable, the things that even the king of 
hell dare not mention lest the whole structure of 
damnation totter and crumble to dust." 

The man winced, and queer wrinkles came into 
the corners of his mouth. Then Satan happened to 
discover Mr. Thompkins, who shrank visibly under 
the scorching gaze. Satan made a low, mocking 

"You do me great honor, sir," he declared, unc- 
tuously. "You may have been expecting to avoid 
me, but reflect upon what you would have missed ! 
We have many notables here, and you will have 
charming society. They do not include pickpockets 
and thieves, nor any others of the weak, stunted, 
crippled, and halting. You will find that most of 
your companions are distinguished gentlemen of 
learning and ability, who, knowing their duty, failed 
to perform it. You will be in excellent company, 
sir," he concluded, with another low bow. Then, 
suddenly turning and sweeping the room with a ges- 
ture, he commanded, "To the hot room, all of you !" 
while he swung his sword, from which flashes of light- 
ning trailed and thunder rumbled. 

We were led to the end of a passage, where a red- 
hot iron door barred further progress. 

" Oh, oh, within there !" roared Satan. " Open 
the portal of the hot chamber, that these fresh arri- 
vals may be introduced to the real temperature of 
hell !" 

After numerous signals and mysterious passes the 



door swung open, and we entered. It was not so 
very hot after all. The chamber resembled the 
other, except that a small stage occupied one end. 
A large green snake crawled out upon this, and sud- 
denly it was transformed into a red devil with ex- 
ceedingly long, thin legs, encased in tights that were 
ripped in places. He gave some wonderful contor- 
tion feats. A poor little white Pierrot came on and 
assisted the red devil in black art performances. 
By this time we discovered that in spite of the half- 
molten condition of the rock-walls, the room was dis- 
agreeably chilly. And that ended our experience in 

Bishop then led us to the closed, dark front of a 
house in front of which stood a suspicious-looking 
man, who eyed us contemptuously. Bishop told him 
that we should like to enter. The man assented 
with a growl. He beat upon the door with a stick ; 
a little wicket opened, and a villanous face peered 
out at us. 

" What do you want ?" came from it in gruff tones. 

"To enter, of course," responded Bishop. 

" Are they all right, do you think ?" asked the face 
of the sentinel. 

"I think they are harmless," was the answer. 

Several bolts and locks grated, and the stubborn 
door opened. 

" Enter, you vile specimens of human folly !" 

hissed the inside guard as we passed within. " D — 

all three of you !" 



We had no sooner found ourselves inside than 
this same person, a short, stout man, with long hair 
and a powerful frame, and the face of a cutthroat, 
struck a table with the heavy stick that he carried, 
and roared to us, — 

" Sit down !" 

Mr. Thompkins involuntarily cowered, but he 
gathered himself up and went with us to seats at 
the nearest table. While we were doing this the 
habitues of the place greeted us with this song, sung 

in chorus : 

"Oh, la la! c'te gueule — 
C'te binette. 
Oh, la la, c'te gueule, 

"What are they saying?" asked Mr. Thompkins ; 
but Bishop spared him by explaining that it was only 
the latest song. 

The room had a low ceiling crossed by heavy 
beams. Wrought-iron gas lamps gave a gloomy 
light upon the dark, time-browned color of the place. 
The beams were loaded with dust, cobwebs, and 
stains, the result of years of smoke and accumula- 
tion. Upon the walls were dozens of drawings by 
Steinlen, illustrating the poems of low life written 
by the proprietor of the cafe ; for we were in the den 
of the famous Aristide Bruant, the poet of the gutter, 
— Verlaine had a higher place as the poet of the 
slums. There were also drawings by Cheret, Willett, 
and others, and some clever sketches in oil ; the 

whole effect was artistic. In one corner was an old 



fireplace, rich in carvings of grotesque heads and 
figures, grilled iron-work, and shining copper vessels. 
The general impression was of a mediaeval gun-room. 

Near the fireplace, upon a low platform, was a 
piano ; grouped about it were four typical Bohe- 
mians of lower Bohemia ; they wore loads of hair ; 
their faces had a dissipated look, their fingers were 
heavily stained by cigarettes ; they wore beards and 
neglige black cravats. These were all minor poets, 
and they took their turn in singing or reciting their 
own compositions, afterwards making a tour of the 
crowded tables with a tin cup and collecting the sous 
upon which they lived, and roundly cursing those who 
refused to contribute. 

Bishop was so delighted with the pictures on the 
walls that he proceeded to examine them, but the 
bully with the stick thundered, — 

" Sit down !" and shook his bludgeon menacingly. 
Bishop sat down. 

Then the brute swaggered up to us and de- 
manded, — 

"What the devil do you want to drink, anyway? 
Speak up quick !" When he had brought the drinks 
he gruffly demanded, "Pay up!" Upon receiving 
the customary tip he frowned, glared at us with a 
threatening manner, and growled, " Humph ! c'est 
pas beaucoup !" and swept the money into his pocket. 

" Goodness ! this is an awful place !" exclaimed 

Mr. Thompkins under his breath. He seemed to 

fear being brained at any moment. Retreat had 

been rendered impossible by the locking of the door. 

19 289 


We were prisoners at the will of our jailer, and so 
were all the others. 

The great Bruant himself sat with a party of con- 
genial Bohemians at a table near the piano and fire- 
place ; they were drinking bocks and smoking cigar- 
ettes and long-stemmed pipes. On the wall behind 
them was a rack holding the pipes of the habitues of 
the cafe, mostly broken and well browned. Each 
pipe was owned by a particular Bohemian, and each 
had its special place in the rack. The other tables 
held a general assortment of lesser Bohemians and 
sight-seers, all cowed and silent under the domina- 
tion of the bawling ruffian with the stick. Whenever 
he smiled (which was rare, a perpetual frown having 
creased a deep furrow between his eyes) they smiled 
also, in great relief, and hung upon every word that 
his occasional lapses into an approach to good nature 
permitted him to utter. 

The poets and singers howled their productions in 
rasping voices, and put a strain upon the strength 
of the piano ; and the minor Bohemians applauded 
them heartily and envied them their distinction. 

In the midst of this performance there came a 
knock upon the door. The bully walked up to the 
wicket, peered out, and admitted an elderly gentle- 
man, accompanied by a lady, evidently his wife. 
These the habitues greeted with the following song : 

" Tout les clients sont des cochons — 
La faridon, la faridon donne 
Et surtout les ceux qui s'en vont — 
La faridon, la faridon donne." 


The gentleman, somewhat abashed by this recep- 
tion, hesitated a moment, then sought seats. The 
two had hardly seated themselves when the burly 
ruffian with the stick began to recite a villanous poem 
reflecting upon the chastity of married women, em- 
phasizing it with atrocious side remarks. The gen- 
tleman sprang from his seat in a rage and advanced 
threateningly upon the brute, who stood leering at 
him and taking a firmer hold upon his stick ; but 
the visitor's wife caught the outraged man by the arm 
and restrained him. A wordy war ensued (for the 
gentleman was a Frenchman), in which the choicest 
argot of Montmartre and La Villette was exhausted 
by the ruffian. He closed by shouting, — 

"You were not invited to enter here. You asked 
the privilege of entering ; your wish was granted. 
If you don't like it here, get out !" 

The gentleman flung down a franc upon the table, 
the bolts were withdrawn, and he and his wife passed 
out while the roysterers sang, — 

" Tout les clients sont des cochons," etc., 

amid the laughter of the smaller Bohemians. 

Aristide Bruant now rose from his table and strode 
to the centre of the room. A perfect silence fell. 
He is rather a small man, slender, and of delicate 
build ; he has a thin, sallow face, with piercing black 
eyes, prominent cheek-bones, and long raven-black 
hair falling over his shoulders from beneath a broad 
black slouch hat down over his eyes. His unbut- 
toned coat showed a red flannel shirt open at the 



throat ; a broad sash was about his waist ; his 
trousers were tucked into top-boots, — the ensemble 
reminding one of Buffalo Bill. He glared sullenly 
round upon the people, and then sprang lightly upon 
a table. From that perch he recited one of his 
poems, selected from his book of songs and mono- 
logues. It does not bear reproduction here. For 
that matter, being written in the argot of Mont- 
martre, it could hardly be understood even by French 
scholars unfamiliar with Montmartre. 

Happily Mr. Thompkins understood not a word 
of it, smiling perfunctorily out of politeness while 
Bruant was uttering things that might have shocked 
the most hardened Parisians. There were several 
young women present, and while Bruant was re- 
citing they ogled him with genuine adoration. The 
other poets hung reverently upon his every word. 

A mighty burst of applause greeted the finish of 
the recitation ; but Bruant slouched indifferently to 
his seat, ignoring the ovation. The bully with the 
stick immediately stopped the noise by yelling, 
" Silence !" This he followed up with the contribu- 
tion-cup for the benefit of the idol of Montmartre, 
With the cup he brought the volume of Bruant's 
poems from which he had given the recitation, — a 
cheaply printed pamphlet. No one dared refuse to 
buy, and no change was returned. Was not this the 
great Aristide Bruant, the immortal of Montmartre ? 

He was followed by other poets with songs and 

the banging of the piano. We presently rose to 

leave, but the bully shouted, — 




" Sit down ! How dare you insult the young 
poet who is now singing?" We submissively re- 
sumed our seats. After a while, in a lull, we respect- 
fully rose again, and the bully, shouting, " Get out !" 
unbarred the door and we were free. 

Mr. Thompkins was more deeply puzzled than he 
had been before that night. He could not under- 
stand that such a resort, where one is bullied and 
insulted, could secure patronage. 

" But this is Paris, Mr. Thompkins," explained 
Bishop, somewhat vaguely; "and this particular 
part of Paris is Montmartre." 

Midnight was now close at hand, but Montmartre 
was in the height of its gayety. Students, Bohe- 
mians, and cocottes were skipping and singing along 
the boulevard, — singing the songs of Bruant. The 
cafes were crowded, the theatres and concert halls 
only in the middle of their programmes. Cabs were 
dashing about, some stopping at the Moulin Rouge, 
others at the Ely see Montmartre, still others picking 
up fares for more distant attractions. 

Bishop halted in front of a quiet-looking house 
with curtained windows, and bluntly asked Mr. 
Thompkins if he would like to go to church. Mr. 
Thompkins caught his breath, and an odd, guilty 
look came into his face. But before he could make 
reply Bishop was leading the way within. The inte- 
rior of the place certainly looked like a church, — it 
was fitted to have that significance. The cold, gray 
stone walls rose to a vaulted Gothic ceiling ; Gothic 



pillars and arches and carved wood completed the 
architectural effect ; statues of saints appeared in 
niches, some surmounted by halos of lighted candles ; 
and there were banners bearing scriptural mottoes. 
The heavy oaken tables on the floor were provided 
with stiff, high-backed pulpit-chairs, beautiful in color 
and carving, and of a Gothic type, the whole scene 
suggesting a transept of Notre-Dame, Mr. Thomp- 
kins had reverently removed his hat. It was not 
long afterward that he quietly 
replaced it on his head. No 
notice was taken by us of these 

At the farther end, where the 
church altar belonged, was in- 
deed a handsomely carved altar. 
Above it sprang a graceful arch, 
bearing a canopy beautifully 
painted in blue, with yellow stars. 
In the centre was a painting of 
Christ upon the cross. The altar 
was the bar, or caisse. of this 
= queer cafe, and behind it sat the 
vUl {P^5^ ■ proprietress, quieriy knitting and 
\ waiting to fill orders for drinks. 

A YOUNG POET- LAUREATE ^j^, „ ^ . ^, 

I he walls ot the cate were 
almost entirely covered with framed drawings by 
Rodel ; all were portraits of well-known Bohemians 
of Montmartre in characteristic attitudes, — the star 
patrons of this rendezvous. Many women figured 
among them, all Bohemian to the bone. 



This was the Cafe du Conservatoire, famous for 
its celebrities, the poets of Bohemian Paris, among 
whom Marcel Legay is eminent. It was evident 
that the habitues of the 
Conservatoire were of a 
much higher order than 
those whom we had seen 
elsewhere. They looked 
more prosperous, were 
more amiable, and acted 
more as other people. 
True, there was much long 
hair, for that is a disease 
hard to shake off ; but when 
it did occur, it was well 
combed and oiled. And 
there were many flat- 
brimmed "plug" hats, as 
well as collars, — clean 
ones, too. an exceptional 
thing in Bohemia, launder- 
ing being expensive. But 
the poverty-haunted Bohemians in the Soleil d'Or 
are more picturesque. That, however, is in the Latin 
Quarter : anything exceptional may be expected at 

When we had finished our coffee we approached 
the patronne behind the bar, and bought billets for 
the Salle des Poetes at two francs each. This was 
a large room crowded with enraptured listeners to 
Legay, who was at that moment rendering his song. 




" Les cloches Catholiques, 
Du haut de leur beffroi, 
Voyaient avec effroi 
La resurrection des Grandes Republiques 
Les cloches revaient, 
En quatre-vingt onze, 
Les cloches de bronze 
Revaient. ' ' 

Legay had quite a distinguished appearance as he 
stood singing before the piano. He wore a gener- 
ously cut frock-coat, 
and his waistcoat ex- 
posed a spacious show 
of white shirt - front. 
His long hair was care- 
fully brushed back, his 
moustaches neatly 
waxed ; altogether he 
was dainty and jaunty, 
and the ladies in the 
room made no conceal- 
ment of their adoration. 
The accompanist was 
a picturesque character. 
He was forty-five or fifty 
years of age ; he had 
long white hair and a 
drooping moustache, and his heavy protruding eyes 
were suffused with tears evoked by the pathos of the 

song. While he gazed up into the singer's face with 



tear-filled eyes he was in another life, another world, 
where there was nothing but music and poetry un- 
alloyed to constitute his heaven. For Legay sang 
charmingly, with an art and a feeling that were never 
obtrusive ; and his audience was aesthetic. When 
he had finished he was cheered without stint, and 
he clearly showed how much the attention pleased 

His song was only one of the numbers on a very 
interesting programme. This 
was the training school of the 
young poets and song-writers 
of upper Bohemia ; this was 
where they made their debut 
and met the test of 
that discriminating 
criticism which de- 
cided them to ad- 
vance upon the 
world or conceal ^^p" 
themselves for yet 
a while from its 
cruel glare ; and 
were they not but 
repeating the or- 
deal of the ancient 
Greeks, out of 
which so many noble things passed into literature ? 
These critics were as frank with their disapproval 
as generous with their acceptance. 

Among those who sang were Gustave Corbet, 



Marius Geffroy, Eugene Lemercier, Xavier Privas, 
Delarbre, and Henri Brallet, men as yet unknown, 
but likely to make a mark under the training, inspi- 
ration, and severe checks of the Cafe du Conserva- 
toire. One of the goals for which these writers strive, 
and one that, if they win it, means to them recog- 
nition, is to have their poems published in Gil Bias, 
with illustrations by the peerless Steinlen, as are the 
works of Legay, and also of Bruant, le Terrible, 

Marcel Legay is a familiar figure on the boule- 
vards, where his dainty person is often seen after 
nightfall, hurrying to one or another of his haunts, 
with a small roll of music under his arm, and his 
fluffy hair streaming over his shoulders. On certain 
nights of every week he sings over in the Latin 
Quarter, at the Cabaret des Noctambules, Rue 
Champollion, near the Chapel of the Sorbonne. 

The other singers that night at the Cafe du Con- 
servatoire each affected his peculiar style of habit, 
gesture, and pose that he deemed most fetching. 
The entire programme was of songs : hence the 
name. Cafe du Conservatoire, 

After we had left. Bishop bought some Brevas 
cigars ; thus fortified, we headed for the Moulin 

It was evident that Mr. Thompkins had reserved 

his enthusiasm for the great dance-hall of Mont- 

martre, — Le Moulin Rouge, — with its w^omen of the 

half world, its giddiness, its glare, its noise, its 

naughtiness. Here at last we should find all ab- 



sence of restraint, posing, sordidness, self-conscious- 
ness, and appeals to abnormal appetites. Mr. 
Thompkins visibly brightened as we ascended the 
incline of the entrance and came within the influence 
of the life and abandon of the place. Indeed, it 
must have seemed like fairy-land to him. The soft 
glow of hundreds of lights fell upon the crowds in the 
ball-room and balconies, with their shifting streams 
of color from the moving figures of dancing women 
in showy gowns and saucy hats, and its many chat- 
ting, laughing, joyous groups at the tables along the 
passage and the balconies, enjoying merry little sup- 
pers and varied consommations that kept scores of 
gar9ons continually on the move. A placard an- 

American Bar ; American and English Drinks 

— as bald and unashamed as that. Here on high 
stools, American free-lunch fashion, ranged along the 
bar, were English and American tourists and French 
dandies sipping Manhattan cocktails with a cherry, 
brandy-and-soda, Tom-and-Jerry, and the rest. Along 
the walls hung vivid paintings of some of the famous 
dancing-girls of the Moulin, their saucy faces half 
hidden in clouds of lacy white skirts. 

High up on a pretty balcony at the end of the 

huge ball-room were the musicians, enjoying their 

cigarettes and bocks between pieces. A small stage 

occupied the opposite end of the room, where a light 

audeville performance had been given ; but that was 

20 305 


all over now, and attention centred in the tables and 
the dancing. 

The Moulin Rouge resembles very much the Bul- 
lier ; but at the Moulin the cocottes are much more 
dashing and gaudy than over in the Quartier, because 
the inspector at the door of the Moulin maintains a 
more exacting standard on the score of the toilettes 
of the women whom he admits free of charge. 
Women, women, women ! There seemed no end of 
them ; and each was arrayed to the full limit of her 
means. And there were French dandies in long 
white melton coats that were very tight at the waist, 
and that bore large brown-velvet collars ; their hair, 
parted behind, was brushed toward their ears ; they 
strolled about the place in numbers, twirling their 
moustaches and ogling the girls. And there were 
French army officers, Martinique negroes, long- 
haired students and Montmartre poets, artists, act- 
ors, and many three-days-in-Paris English tourists 
wearing knickerbockers and golf-caps, and always 
smoking bulldog pipes. There were also two parties 
of American men with their wives and daughters, and 
they enjoyed the spectacle with the natural fulness 
and responsiveness of their soil. For the Moulin is 
really now but a great show place ; it has been dis- 
covered by the outside world, and, unlike the other 
quaint places mentioned in this paper, has suffered 
the change that such contact inevitably imparts. It 
is no longer the queer old Moulin, genuinely, spon- 
taneously Bohemian. But the stranger would hardly 

realize that; and so to Mr. Thompkins it seemed the 



brilliant and showy side of Bohemian Paris. By rea- 
son of its change in character it has less interest than 
the real Bohemian Paris that the real Bohemians 
know, enjoy, and jealously guard. 

Many light-footed young women were amusing 
circles of on-lookers with spirited dancing and reck- 
less high-kicking ; and, being adepts in their pecu- 
liar art, were so flashing and illusory that an attempt 
to analyze their movements brought only bewilder- 
ment. No bones seemed to hamper their swiftness 
and elasticity. The flash of a black stocking would 
instantly dissolve into a fleecy cloud of lace, and the 
whirling air was a cyclone ; and there upon the floor 
sat the dancer in the " split," looking up with a 
merry laugh, flushed cheeks, and sparkling eyes, 
twinkling from the shadow of a twisted toque ; then 
over her would sweep a whirlwind of other dancers, 
and identities would become inextricably confused. 

An odd-looking man, with a sad face and marvel- 
lously long, thin legs in tights, did incredible things 
with those members ; he was merely a long spring 
without bones, joints, or hinges. His cadaverous 
face and glittering black eyes, above which rose a 
top-hat that never moved from place, completed the 
oddity of his appearance. He is always there in the 
thickest of the dancing, and his salary is three francs 
a night. 

We suddenly discovered Mr. Thompkins in a 
most embarrassing situation. A bewitching chemi- 
cal blonde of the clinging type had discovered and 

appropriated him ; she melted all over him, and 



poured a stream of bad English into his ear. She 
was so very, very thirsty, she pleaded, and Monsieur 
was so charming, so much a gentleman, — he was 
beautiful, too. Oh, Monsieur would not be so unkind 
as to remove the soft, plump arm from round his 
neck, — surely it did not hurt Monsieur, for was it not 
warm and plump, and was not that a pretty dimple 
in the elbow, and another even prettier in the shoul- 
der ? If Monsieur were not so charming and gra- 
cious the ladies would never, never fall in love with 
him like this. And oh, Monsieur, the place was so 
warm, and dancing makes one so thirsty ! 

Mr. Thompkins's face was a picture of shame and 
despair, and I have never seen a more comical ex- 
pression than that with which he looked appealingly 
to us for help. Suppose some one in the hall should 
happen to recognize him ! Of course there was only 
one thing to do. Mademoiselle Blanche's thirst was 
of that awful kind which only shipwrecked sailors, 
travellers lost in a desert, and cafe dancing-girls can 
understand. And so four glasses of beer were or- 
dered. It was beautiful to see the grace and celerity 
with which Mademoiselle Blanche disposed of hers, 
the passionate eagerness with which she pressed 
a long kiss upon Mr. Thompkins's unwilling lips, 
and the promptness with which she then picked 
up his glass, drained it while she looked at him 
mischievously over the rim, kissed him again, and 

Mr. Thompkins sat speechless, his face blazing, 

his whole expression indescribably foolish. He vig- 



orously wiped his lips with his handkerchief, and was 
not himself again for half an hour. 

Innumerable bright little comedies were uncon- 
sciously played in all parts of the room, and they were 
even more interesting than the antics of the dancers. 

We presently strolled into the garden of the 
Moulin, where a performance is given in the sum- 
mer. There stood a great white sheet-iron elephant, 
remindful of Coney Island. In one of the legs was 
a small door, from which a winding stair led into the 
body of the beast. The entrance fee was fifty cen- 
times, the ticket-office at the top of the stair. It was 
a small room inside the elephant, and there was a 
small stage in the end of it, upon which three young 
women were exercising their abdominal muscles in 
the danse du ventre. Mr. Thompkins, dismayed at 
this, would have fled had not Bishop captured him 
and hauled him back to a conspicuous seat, where 
the dancing-girls, quickly finding him, proceeded to 
make their work as extravagant as possible, throw- 
ing him wicked glances meanwhile, and manifestly 
enjoying his embarrassment. Of course the dancers 
came round presently for offerings of sous. 

We returned to the dance-hall, for it was now 
closing-up time, and in order to feel a touch of kin- 
ship with America, drank a gin fizz at the American 
bar, though it seemed to be a novelty to Mr. 

The streets were alive with the revellers who had 
been turned out by the closing of the cafes, dance- 



halls, and theatres, and the cries of cabbies rose 
above the din of laughter and chatter among the 
crowds. But the night was not yet quite finished. 
Said Bishop, — 

"We shall now have coffee at the Red Ass." 
That was below the Place Pigalle, quite a walk 
down to the Rue de Maubeuge, through that sud- 
denly quiet centre of artists' studios and dignified 
residences. At last we reached L'Ane Rouge, — the 
Red Ass. It has a small and unassuming front, ex- 
cept that the window-panes are profusely decorated 
with painted flowers and figures, and a red ass peers 
down over the narrow door. L'Ane Rouge has no 
special distinction, save its artistic interior and the 
fanciful sketches on its walls. It is furnished with 
heavy dark tables and chairs, and iron grilled into 
beautiful scrolls and chandeliers, — like the famous 
Chat Noir, near by. In fact, L'Ane Rouge resembles 
an old curiosity shop more than anything else, for it 
is filled with all imaginable kinds of antiques, black- 
ened by age and smoke, and in perfect harmony. 
It, too, has its particular clientele of Bohemians, who 
come to puff their long pipes that hang in racks, and 
recount their hopes, aspirations, achievements, and 
failures, occasionally breaking into song. For this 
they bring forth their mandolins and guitars, and 
sing sentimental ditties of their own composition. 
There is a charming air of chez soi at the Red Ass ; 
a spirit of good-fellowship pervades it ; and then, the 
cafe is small, cosey, and comfortable, as well as 




It was in a lively commotion when we crossed the 
threshold, the place being filled with litterateurs of 
the quarter. A celebration was in progress, — one 
of their number had just succeeded in finding a pub- 
lisher for two volumes of his poetry. It was a nota- 
ble event, and the lucky Bohemian, flushed with 
money, had settled his debts and was now treating 
his friends. Although we were strangers to him, he 
cordially invited us to share the hospitality of the oc- 
casion, and there was great applause when Bishop 
presented him with a Brevas cigar. 

" Bravo, les Anglais ! Ce sont des bons types, 
ceux-la !" and then they sang in chorus, a happy, 
careless, jolly crowd. 

There was a small, thin young sketch artist making 
crayon portraits of the successful poet and selling 
them to the poet's friends for fifty centimes apiece, — 
with the poet's autograph, too. 

In response to a call for une chanson Anglaise, 
Bishop sang " Down on the Farm" as he had never 
sung it before, his shining top-hat pushed back 
upon his curly hair, his jovial face beaming. At its 
conclusion he proposed a toast to the successful 
poet, and it was drunk standing and with a mighty 

We looked in at the Cabaret des Quat'z' Arts, — 
a bright and showy place, but hardly more suggestive 
of student Bohemianism than the other fine cafes of 
the boulevards. 

And thus ended a night on Montmartre. We left 
Mr. Thompkins at his hotel. I think he was more 



than satisfied, but he was too bewildered and tired 
to say much about it. 

Montmartre presents the extravagant side of 
Parisian Bohemianism. If there is a thing to be 
mocked, a convention to be outraged, an idol to be 
destroyed, Montmartre will find the way. But it 
has a taint of sordidness that the real Bohemianism 
of the old Latin Quarter lacks, — for it is not the 
Bohemianism of the students. And it is vulgar. 
For all that, in its rude, reckless, and brazen way it 
is singularly picturesque. It is not likely that Mr. 
Thompkins will say much about it when he goes 
home, but he will be able to say a great deal in a 
general way about the harm of ridiculing sacred 
things and turning reverence into a laugh. 


THE Quartier Latin takes on unwonted life 
about the fifteenth of July, when the artists 
and students change their places of abode 
under the resistless pressure of 
a nomadic spirit. Studios are 
generally taken for terms 
ranging from three months to 
a year, and the terms generally 
expire in July. The artists who 
do not change their residence 
then go into the country, and 
that means moving their effects. 
It is a familiar fact that artists 
do not generally occupy a high 
position in the financial world. 
Consequently they are a very 
practical lot, attending to their 
own domestic duties (including 
washing when times are hard), 
and doing their own moving 
when July comes ; but this is 
not a very elaborate undertaking, 
the worse of them for that. 

One day in July Bishop and I sat in our window 
overlooking the court, and observed the comedy of a 



No one thinks 


student in the throes of moving. The old building at 
the end of our court was a favorite abiding-place for 
artists. Evidently, on this day, a young artist or art 
student was en demenagement, for his household 
goods were being dragged down the stairs and piled 
in the court preparatory to a journey in a small 
hand-cart standing by. He was cheerfully assisted 
by a number of his friends and his devoted com- 
panion, a pretty little grisette. There were eight of 
them in all, and their laughter and shouts indicated 
the royal fun they were having. 

The cart was one of those voitures a bras that are 
kept for hire at a neighboring location de voitures a 
bras at six sous an hour. In order to get locomo- 
tion out of it you have to hitch yourself in the har- 
ness that accompanies it, and pull the vehicle your- 
self ; and that is no end of fun, because your friends 
are helping and singing all the way. 

Into this vehicle they placed a rickety old divan 

and a very much dilapidated mattress ; then came half 

a sack of coal, a tiny, rusty, round studio stove with 

interminable yards of battered and soot-filled pipe, a 

pine table, two rush-bottomed chairs, and a big box 

filled with clattering dishes, kettles, pots, and pans. 

On top of this came a thick roll of dusty, faded, 

threadbare hangings and rugs, and the meagre 

wardrobes of the artist and the gfrisette ; then a 

number of hat-boxes, after which Mademoiselle 

looked with great solicitude. Last of all came bulky 

portfolios filled with the artist's work, a large nuni- 

ber of canvases that were mostly studies of Made- 



moiselle au natural, with such accessories as easel, 
paint-boxes, and the like, and the linen and bedding. 

The fat old concierge stood grumbling near by, for 
the ropes were being tied over the load, and she was 
anxiously waiting for her dernier adieu, or parting 
tip, that it is the custom to give upon surrendering 
the key. But tips are sometimes hard to give, and 
Bohemian etiquette does not regard them with gen- 
eral favor. After the load had been made snug, the 
artist approached the concierge, doffed his cap, bowed 
low, and then in a most impressively ceremonious 
manner handed her the key, avowed that it broke 
his heart to leave her, and commended her to God. 
That was all. There seems to be a special provi- 
dence attending upon the vocabulary of concierges 
in their hour of need. The shrill, condemnatory, in- 
terminable vocalization of this concierge's wrath indi- 
cated specific abilities of exceptional power. 

But the artist paid no attention. He hung his 
coat and "plug" hat on the inverted table-leg, got 
between the shafts, hitched himself in the harness, 
and sailed out of the court, his friends swarming 
around and assisting him to drag the toppling cart 
away. And this they did with a mighty will, yelling 
and singing with a vigor that wholly obliterated the 
concierge's noise. The little grisette closed the pro- 
cession, bearing in one hand a lamp and in the other 
a fragile bust. And so the merry party started, pos- 
sibly for the other end of Paris, — the greater the dis- 
tance the more the fun. They all knew that when 
the voiture had been unloaded and all had fallen to 



and assisted the young couple in straightening out 
their new home, there would be a jolly celebration 
in the nearest cafe at the moving artist's expense. 

So the start was made fairly and smoothly ; but 
the enthusiasm of the crowd was so high and the 
little vehicle was so top-heavy, that at the end of the 
passage the comedy seemed about to merge into 
a tragedy. It was announced to all the court in 
the shrill voice of the concierge, who exultingly 
screamed, — 

"The stove has fallen out! and the coal! The 
things are falling all over the street ! Oh, you vil- 
lain !" 

To the movers themselves it was merely an inci- 
dent that added to the fun r.nd zest of the enterprise. 

My plans carried me to Concarneau, and Bishop's 
took him to Italy, where I would join him after a 
while. And a royal time we had in our several 
ways. The autumn found us fresh and eager for 
our studies in Paris again, and so we returned to 
hunt a studio and establish ourselves in new quar- 
ters. We hid stored our goods with a kind Ameri- 
can friend ; and as we had neither the desire nor the 
financial ability to violate the traditions of the Quar- 
tier, we greatly scandalized him and his charming 
family by appearing one day with a crowd of students 
and a voiture a bras before his house and takinof our 
effects away in the traditional fashion. Of course 
our friend would have gladly paid for the transport 
of our belongings in a more respectable fashion ; but 
where would have been the fun in that? I am 



pleased to say that with true American adaptiveness 
he joined the singing and yelling crowd, and danced 


a jig to our playing in our new quarters after a gen- 
erous brew of punch had done its share in the jollity 
of the event. 

Ah, dear old Paris ! wonderful, bewildering Paris ! 
alluring, enchanting Paris ! Our student years are 
now just ended, and Paris is already so crowded with 
21 321 


workers who cannot bear to leave it that we must 
seek our fortune in other and duller parts of the 
world. But Paris has ineradicably impressed itself 
upon us. We have lived its life ; we have been a 
part of its throbbing, working, achieving individu- 
ality. What we take away will be of imperishable 
value, the salt and leaven of our hopes and efforts 


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